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Headaches in children: Signs, symptoms and remedies

  • Headaches aren’t confined to adults—children can get them too. But because kids may experience headaches differently to adults, you might not realise headache is the problem.[1,2] A child’s headache or migraine might be accompanied by sickness or an upset tummy.[1,2] It can impact their day, but, for some children headache​, they can often recover faster than adults.[3]
  • There are some simple measures you can take to help prevent your child from developing a headache, or to ease their symptoms if they are experiencing one.
What to do:
  • Have the child lie down quietly in a darkened room

  • Apply a cool, moistened towel or cloth to the forehead

  • Encourage sleep — the body’s natural way of healing

  • Invite them to eat or drink (avoid caffeinated drinks)

  • Relaxation exercises and stress management can help

  • Try giving Nurofen for Children – it contains ibuprofen as the active ingredient to help relieve the pain associated with headache.

What to avoid:
  • Skipping meals

  • Dehydration: encourage drinking water throughout the day

  • Irregular bedtimes and inadequate sleep

  • Caffeinated drinks or stopping caffeine suddenly

  • To prevent migraines also avoid flickering lights, flashing images or too much time watching TV or gaming.

Symptoms of headache in children

Like adults, there are two main types of headache that are common in children: tension-type headache and migraine.1

Tension-type headache symptoms3

  • A mild-to-moderate headache, with pain usually all over the head, although sometimes just one side can be affected.
  • The pain can feel like a tightness or pressure around the head.
  • There are usually no additional symptoms, like there might be with a migraine.


Migraine symptoms1,2

If your child has two of the following symptoms, then they may have a migraine:

  • Pain, often on one side of the head, but can affect both sides. The pain may be less pulsating than in an adult migraine and doesn’t last as long
  • Feeling sick or vomiting – stomach symptoms are more common in children than in adults
  • Experiencing visual disturbances or ‘strange sensations’.

It’s more common in children who have family members who also experience migraines.2


Possible triggers: tension-type headache4,6

  • Being stressed
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Skipping meals
  • Too much caffeine
  • Viral infections, such as flu
  • Periods.


Possible triggers: migraine2

  • Certain foods, such as chocolate, fizzy drinks, citrus fruits and cheese.
  • Too much or too little sleep
  • Skipping meals
  • Being stressed
  • Too much exercise, gaming or watching TV
  • Flickering lights or flashing images.

Why ibuprofen can help

Ibuprofen has a triple action – it temporarily relieves pain and fever and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help relieve the short-term pain associated with headaches.


Why Nurofen for Children can help

Nurofen for Children Oral Suspension contains ibuprofen for effective headache relief. It comes in two flavours – strawberry and orange – and is also colour-free and sugar-free. It starts working in 15 minutes.7

For Children over 7 years old, try Nurofen for Children Soft Chewable Capsules. This easy-to-swallow capsule does not need water, making it a convenient way for older children to relieve their headache and get on with their day.

Ask your pharmacist for advice on which Nurofen for Children product is right for your child.



Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension 100ml/150ml/200ml

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours
  • 150ml contains a syringe for use in children who won’t or can’t use a spoon, particularly young babies

Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml 16 x 5ml Sachets

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Orange flavour

Nurofen for Children 60mg Suppositories

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 6 kg
  • Good for children who might be struggling with taking oral formulations because of vomiting, regurgitation or sore throat



Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension 100ml/150ml/200ml

  • Suitable for children from 3 months and weighing over 5 kg
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours
  • Measuring spoon included in 100ml and 200ml for accurate dosing


Nurofen for Children 6+ 200mg/5ml Oral Suspension

  • Suitable for children from 6 years and weighing over 20 kg
  • Same effective relief in half volume dose*
  • Available in strawberry and orange flavours

*Compared to Nurofen for Children 100mg/5ml Oral Suspension

Nurofen for Children 7+ Chewable Capsules 12 x 100mg Capsules

  • Orange flavour
  • Easy to chew – no need for water
  • Useful for on-the-go


This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.

This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.