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possible cause Sinusitis (inflammation of the membranes lining the air spaces in the skull) may be the cause of this type of headache, especially if your child recently had a cold or a runny or blocked nose. Children under 8 are rarely affected as their sinuses have not yet developed.

action Give your child paracetamol for the pain. Steam inhalation (see Treating a child with a cold, p.106) may also help. If your child is no better after 2 days, see your doctor within 24 hours; your child may need antibiotics.

possible cause Previously unrecognised eyesight problems may sometimes cause a child to develop a headache after activities such as these. Take your child to an optician for an eyesight test.

action The optician will carry out a full sight test and, if a vision problem is found, will prescribe appropriate glasses for your child. If vision is normal, the optician will refer your child to the doctor, who will try to establish a cause for the headaches.

Could your child be anxious or under stress at home or at school?

possible cause Anxiety is one of the most common causes of headaches in children.

action Discuss your child's problems and worries with him or her, and see if you can identify a pattern to the headaches. Approach teachers for further information. Consult your doctor if you and your child cannot sort out the problem or if the headaches are frequent.

Possible cause and action Certain drugs can cause headaches as a side effect. Consult your doctor. Meanwhile, your child should not stop taking the prescribed drugs.

Is your child taking any yes^Ä prescription drugs? ^->

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