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Your doctor will also perform physical and neurological exams to look for signs of an illness that may be causing the headache.A more serious problem should be considered when the child’s general or neurological history and exams reveal any of the following: Symptoms A MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) and a MRA scan (magnetic resonance imaging of the arteries) are two types of tests your doctor may use to help determine if a serious medical problem is the cause of your child’s headaches.Both of these imaging tests allow the tissues and arteries within the brain to be seen and evaluated. An EEG (electroencephalogram) is unnecessary unless the child has lost consciousness with his or her headaches.

Contact your health care provider if your child: Children and adolescents who experience headaches that progress -- that is, become more severe and/or frequent over time -- and particularly those who also have the symptoms mentioned on this page and/or have an abnormal neurological exam may have a more serious health problem.Children and adolescents fitting this description should be seen by their doctor as soon as possible.© Copyright 1995-2009 The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider.Headaches are very common in children and adolescents.In fact, one study reported that 56% of boys and 74% of girls between the ages of 12 and 17 have a headache within any given 30-day period.

Most headaches in children and adolescents are the result of stress and muscle tension or migraine.Headaches are also common symptoms of colds and the flu.Many parents worry that their child’s headache is a sign of a brain tumor or serious medical condition.This is usually not the case, but only your doctor can evaluate your child’s headache to determine the underlying cause.During the headache evaluation, your child’s headache history will be taken.This involves asking your child or you about your child’s current and previous headaches -- their frequency, duration, and associated symptoms.