Pediatric Headaches with Unknown or Mixed Classification

Pediatric Headaches with Unknown or Mixed Classification



Unknown or mixed classification pediatric headaches can have more than one cause, both known and unknown.

Expanded Overview

Headaches occur for a number of reasons and are fairly common with children of all ages. If a child experiences multiple types of headaches, including tension headaches (caused by muscle tension), migraines, cluster headaches or headaches for an unknown reason, this is known as headaches with unknown or mixed classification.


Causes of a headache will vary with age and type. Common headache triggers include:

  • Dehydration
  • Allergies
  • Bright light
  • Extremely loud noises
  • Exhaustion (extreme need to rest)
  • Food or drinks (aged cheeses, caffeinated beverages, chocolate and soy sauce)
  • Repeated hunching over a book, desk or screen
  • Hormone changes, during puberty (between the ages of 10 and 14 for girls and between the ages of 12 and 16 for boys*)
  • Strong odors


Symptoms of headaches with mixed classification can include:

  • Balance issues
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain behind the eyes, neck pain, or pain at the base of the skull or on one side
  • Problems concentrating
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Sleep disruption

*Age of puberty is middle childhood to teenage years as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

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