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Pediatric Headaches

Key Points About Headaches in Children

  • A headache is pain or discomfort in one or more areas of the head or face. Headaches can happen once in a while. Or they may happen often.
  • Primary headaches are not linked to another health condition. They are often caused by tight muscles, widened (dilated) blood vessels, changes in nerve signals or swelling (inflammation) in parts of the brain.
  • Secondary headaches are the least common type of headaches. They are caused by a problem in the brain, or another health condition or disease.
  • In addition to head pain, your child may have nausea or vomiting.
  • Your child may have an MRI or a CT scan to help diagnose what may be causing a headache.
  • Treatment may include resting, taking medicines, managing stress, getting more sleep and not having certain foods or drinks.
Children's Team

Children's Team


Ilana Kahn

Ilana Kahn

Clinical Director, Neuroimmunology
Director, Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Options
Marc Disabella

Marc DiSabella

Director, Child Neurology Residency Program
Director, Headache Program
Director, Neurology Education
Marc DiFazio

Marc DiFazio

Vice President, Ambulatory Services
Past President, Medical Staff
Jeffrey Strelzik

Jeffrey Strelzik

Associate Director, Child Neurology Fellowship Program
Director, Headache Infusion Program
Medical Director, Neurology Education

Other Team Members



Headache Program

The Headache Program at Children's National Hospital evaluates and treats more than 2,000 patients annually.

Health Problems Related to Bullying

The Program for Health Problems Related to Bullying treats children and teens who are bullied, as well as those who bully others.

Balance and Vestibular Program

The Balance and Vestibular Program Program at Children’s National Hospital treats children experiencing dysfunction of the vestibular system such as dizziness, imbalance, delayed motor function development and vertigo.


Our pediatric neuroscience team is the largest in the country, allowing us to offer our vast experience to patients and families.