Tension-type headache in children

The recommended medicines for children with a headache are:

  • ibuprofen (brands include Nurofen, Advil)
  • paracetamol (Panadol, Panamax)

Aspirin (Disprin, Aspro Clear) is not recommended for children under the age of 12 years because its use is linked to the rare but potentially fatal condition, Reyes syndrome.

For children and teens aged 12–16 years consult your doctor or pharmacist before giving aspirin.

Small mistakes with medicines can cause big problems in little bodies. Knowing how to accurately measure and administer medicines to children will help to avoid accidental overdosing or underdosing. Read important information for parents and carers who are giving medicines to children.

  • British Association for the Study of Headache. Guidelines for all health professionals in the diagnosis and management of migraine, tension-type-type headache, cluster headache and medication overuse headache. Hull: BASH, 2010. www.bash.org.uk (accessed 13 December 2011)
  • Neurology Writing Group. Therapeutic Guidelines: Neurology, Version 4 Updated November 2011 [eTG complete CD-ROM]. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd, 2011.