Headache Homework

First Aid NeonHeadaches are a common problem in pediatrics with many different triggers and causes.

If your child is having headaches, please call our office for evaluation. The following information is for parents of children who have been examined in the office.

Track the headaches: Keep 0-1-2 headache log on the calendar.

Write 0 on a day when your child had no headache.

Write 1 on a day when your child had a little headache.

Write 2 on a day when your child had a bad headache.

It’s helpful to note anything that made the headache worse (or better), along with the time of day, how long the headache lasted, and if you gave medications, what kind and did it help or not.

Healthy Habits for Headaches

Eat healthy meals with both carbohydrates and protein.

Eat breakfast. Don’t skip meals.

Drink.  Urine should be clear or very light yellow

Consider Food Triggers

Nuts, peanut butter

Citrus foods (limit 1 orange daily)

Banana (limit ½ daily)



Sour cream


Ripened Cheeses: cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Gruyère, Stilton

Broad Beans:  lima, navy, pea

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Canned figs



Caffeinated beverages or foods

Fermented, pickled, or marinated foods

Hot, fresh breads, raised donuts, coffee cake

Treat Your Headache Right

Limit pain medication use (Tylenol or Motrin) to twice a week.

Check Vision

Have vision screened by optometrist as indicated.

About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at WebMD.com, Rx.com, and MyLifePath.com. She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. BabyCenter.com currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit www.LMAsta.com
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