Headache resident survival guide (pediatrics)

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief:

Synonyms and Keywords: Headache in kids, Pedicatic headache, approach to headache in children

Headache resident survival guide (pediatrics) Microchapters


This section provides a short and straight to the point overview of the disease or symptom. The first sentence of the overview must contain the name of the disease.


According to the ICHD- 3 (The International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd edition) headache in children can be classified into 2 types based on the origin of the headache into Primary and Secondary headache

Primary headache is due a primary brain pathology they are mostly benign in nature.

Secondary headache is due to any other underlying conditions:


Life Threatening Causes

Life-threatening causes include conditions that may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated.

Common Causes

FIRE: Focused Initial Rapid Evaluation

A Focused Initial Rapid Evaluation (FIRE) should be performed to identify patients in need of immediate intervention. The initial rapid evaluation is based on the guidelines:

Signs and symptom of a child with brain tumor. These children will need urgent CNS imaging and referral to a Child Neurologist.

Complete Diagnostic Approach

Shown below is an algorithm summarizing the diagnosis of [[Headache]] according to the [...] guidelines.


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Primary Headache
Secondary Headache
Tension Headache
Cluster Headache
Bacterial Meningitis
CO Poisoning
Intracranial Hemorrhage
Cerebral Abscess
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Shown below is an algorithm summarizing the treatment of [[disease name]] according the the [...] guidelines.



  • The content in this section is in bullet points.


  • Failure to reassess a child with migraine or tension headache when the headache character changes
  • Attributing persistent nausea and vomiting to an infective cause in the absence of corroborative findings, eg, contact with similar illness, pyrexia, diarrhea
  • Failure to fully assess vision in a young or uncooperative child
  • ▶Failure of communication between community optometry and primary and secondary care
  • Attributing abnormal balance or gait to middle ear disease in the absence of corroborative findings
  • Failure to identify swallowing difficulties as the cause of recurrent chest infections or “chestiness”
  • Attributing impaired growth with vomiting to gastrointestinal disease in the absence of corroborative findings
  • Failure to consider diabetes insipidus in children with polyuria and polydipsia