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Fifteen minute consultation: headache in children under 5 years of age
  1. Nadine McCrea1,
  2. Rachel Howells2
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Neurology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Department of Children's and Women's Health, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Nadine McCrea, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK; nadinemccrea{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Headache occurring in children under the age of 5 years may cause a high level of anxiety in both parents and medical professionals. Crucial to a consultation about this problem will be to actively seek out clues to sinister pathologies, and investigate or reassure as appropriate. Making a positive diagnosis of a primary headache disorder where one exists is also important; however, in young children, headache does not always conform to well-established diagnostic criteria. This short guide provides a practical overview using the scenario of a new referral to the outpatient clinic.

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