Pediatric head and neck lumps

While a lump on your child’s head or neck can be concerning, most rarely pose a health risk. Still, it is important to have the lump evaluated by your doctor if it does not disappear within a week or two.


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What are pediatric head and neck lumps?

All lumps should be checked by a physician. Most often, these lumps are caused by infections that can be treated. Treatment should start quickly to prevent complications or the spread of infection. 

You can usually see a lump resolve within a week. If the lump does not resolve, or gets larger or is interfering with your child’s breathing or eating, call your physician immediately for an appointment.

What are the signs and symptoms of pediatric head and neck lumps?

  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Cyst

How are pediatric head and neck lumps diagnosed?

If your physician is concerned about the lump on your child’s head or neck, you may be referred for further tests. Examination of some masses may determine their cause based on location, size and consistency.

In other cases, however, additional imaging tests may be required, such as:

CAT scan (CT)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Needle biopsy

Positron emission tomography scan (PET)

How are pediatric head and neck lumps treated?

Treatments for a head or neck lump are determined by the cause of the mass.

Medication and surgery

Benign lumps may be treated with medication or removed by surgery.

Cancerous lump

Radiation therapy



Cancerous head and neck lumps are very rare in children.

Pediatric head and neck lumps doctors and providers