Common Neurological Conditions in Children

Welcome to our latest Childhealthy newsletter! In this newsletter, we’re covering top tips for parents to spot and look after common neurological symptoms in children – including how you can treat headaches at home, symptoms of febrile convulsions, fainting, and behaviour and its link to neurology. Be sure to read all the way to the end for our latest updates. The team at Childhealthy can help with any neurological condition in babies, children, and adolescents – so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

At Childhealthy, we strive to provide families with useful and practical advice to keep their children healthy. So if you know someone who would benefit from our updates, please forward this newsletter to them. Please also follow and like us on Facebook and Instagram. We appreciate any feedback you may have and use it to improve these updates. Are there any topics or questions you would like to cover in the next newsletter? Please email and we will aim to include this in the next update.

Children’s headaches: tips on how to treat headaches at home

Headaches are a common – and usually not serious – condition that occurs in both children and adults. Although headaches don’t often pose a serious risk, they can be a cause for concern in some children, especially if they occur frequently. If you are concerned about your child’s headaches, please get in touch with your child’s GP or paediatrician.

There are many different types of headaches children can develop and each of them can be managed individually.

The types of headaches include:

  • Migraine headaches – If your child has recurrent migraines, then it’s best to make an appointment with your GP or paediatrician. Migraine headaches tend to be more severe, often associated with other symptoms such as visual disturbance, nausea and vomiting.
  • Tension headaches – these tend to be milder in severity and can be caused by not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep.
  • Headaches caused by infections – these happen when a child has an illness like a cold or the flu.
  • Headaches after injury – if your child experiences a head injury, it’s common for them to have a headache, and this should always be discussed with a doctor.
  • Headaches caused by medication – using over-the-counter pain medications for more than 2 days a week, could cause headaches in a child.
  • Headaches caused by dental issues – these headaches are accompanied by pain or tension in the jaw or teeth. When this happens, your child will need to see a dentist.

There are ways that you can treat your child’s headache at home.

Home methods for soothing headaches can include:

  • Cold or warm compress – a washcloth soaked in cold or warm water can be placed on the head or neck to alleviate pain. Make sure the water isn’t too cold or hot, and don’t apply ice directly to the skin.
  • Lie down with a raised head – this can help alleviate some of the pressure in the neck and head.
  • A warm bath or shower – this can help release tension caused by congestion.
  • Over-the-counter pain relief – ibuprofen can help relieve a headache, but make sure you follow the directions on the packet and only give it to them if they’re of age.

If your child’s headaches are frequent and don’t dissipate with home remedies, then an appointment with a paediatrician could help as they may refer your child to a neurologist.

If your child experiences the below symptoms with a headache, then you need to seek emergency help or call 999.

  • Loss of vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the back of the head
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness of the limbs

Signs and symptoms of febrile convulsions

Febrile convulsions can occur in babies and children when they have a fever. They’re a type of seizure that is harmless most of the time and are quite common in very young children. However, they can still be very distressing, especially for parents.

Febrile convulsions occur between the ages of 6 months and 6 years, and most frequently between ages 1 and 5. Children become less likely to experience them as they get older.

A febrile convulsion can look like:

  • Your child’s body going stiff
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Twitching in the arms and legs
  • Eyes rolling back into the head
  • Vomiting or foaming at the mouth
  • Wetting or soiling themselves

The cause of febrile convulsions has been linked to having a high temperature – which often happens when a child is unwell with illnesses like tonsillitis or chickenpox.

If you think that your child is having a febrile convulsion, then place them in the recovery position – lay them on their side with their face turned to their side as well. This helps to keep their airways clear.

Time how long the seizure lasts. If it’s longer than 5 minutes or it’s their first seizure, then dial 999 for medical help.

If you would like to learn more about what to do in emergency situations, please get in touch with our team to book a first-aid training class.

The class is suitable for all parents, grandparents and carers, and will equip you with the knowledge of how to deal with basic emergencies. Our classes cover everything from baby and child recovery positions to bleeding, burns, fractures and anaphylaxis.

Fainting episodes causes in children

Fainting can be quite common in children and teenagers – and most of the time it’s nothing to worry about.

The signs of fainting can include the child feeling dizzy, losing their balance, and their vision going black.

If you believe that your child is going to faint, help them to sit down and put their head between their knees. If they have fainted, lie them flat on their back with their feet slightly elevated.

The causes of fainting episodes can be linked to a number of different things. Most likely, it can be caused by a sudden decrease in their blood pressure. This causes the brain to temporarily not have the right amount of oxygen.

There are other less common causes of fainting that can include heart problems or other neurological issues. It’s best to speak to your doctor if your child is suffering from fainting episodes, as they’ll be able to determine the cause through testing.

Seek medical attention if your child has fainted and demonstrates any of the below:

  • Struggling for breath
  • Has hurt themselves while falling
  • Struggling to speak, see, or hear
  • Starts to have a seizure

Could behaviour be helped by a neurologist?

Behavioural concerns can appear in children of any age, but normally start to become apparent when they grow into toddlers.

Behaviour concerns can look like:

  • Refusing to eat certain or new foods
  • Throwing tantrums
  • Not listening to you
  • Being aggressive or violent towards you, other children, or themselves

In some situations, challenging behaviours may indicate a developmental or neurological concern that is best assessed by a paediatrician or neurologist.

Children with Autism may not be able to express their needs to their parents and become frustrated. However, not all challenging behaviours indicate autism in children. It is important to discuss any behavioural concerns with a paediatrician or neurologist, to identify any underlying medical causes.

In some situations, a child psychiatrist or a child development specialist will be required to make a diagnosis. In children under 5 years old, autism and ADHD will be diagnosed by a development specialist, whereas a child psychiatrist will be able to diagnose children over 5 years of age.

How we can help

At Childhealthy, we have recently a new Consultant Paediatric Neurologist to the team.

A paediatric neurologist is a doctor that cares for children with any condition relating to the nervous system. This can include headaches, fits, faints and funny turns.

Our team can assess, reassure you and treat your child for many of these concerns, or also refer for an opinion when needed.

Dr Kayal brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of paediatric neurology to the Childhealthy team and loves to meet, support and reassure families with any paediatric neurological concerns and questions.

If you have any concerns about your child’s health – don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Childhealthy and book an appointment with our expert neurologist.

New Childhealthy pages

Hand, foot and mouth in children and babies: Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common contagious illness in children and babies. Discover more about it here and learn how to provide relief.

Childhealthy updates

Learn first aid, from home – Do you want to learn first aid, for when life throws those unexpected challenges at you? At Childhealthy, we offer First aid classes for parents, and we have sessions available. To learn more, click the link above or get in touch with us.

Nutritional assessments – Assessments with our Paediatric Dietician are available. Suitable for all ages, our assessments help to assess your child’s diet and offer you as a parent the chance to address your concerns relating to your child’s intake or weight from birth to teenage years. To learn more, click the link above or get in touch with us.

In need of a physiotherapist? – Appointments with our physiotherapist are now available at Womens Wellness Centre. Can’t travel? No problem. We also offer home visits. Find out more by clicking the link above or get in touch with us today.

How to reach us

Join our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and please let us know what topics you’d like to see covered in the next newsletter via email –

We hope you have a great month.

Wishing you all the best, Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team

Disclaimer: Information contained in this article is intended as general advice and does not replace a medical assessment. If you are concerned about your child please contact your doctor for advice.