Pediatric Annals

Editorial Free

A Practical Look at Diagnosis and Management of Headaches, Anemia, and Our Role as Pediatric Providers

Joseph R. Hageman, MD

In this issue of Pediatric Annals, co-guest editors, Drs. Lalitha Sivaswamy and Deepak Kamat, and their colleagues present a series of clinically valuable articles for the pediatric provider about the etiologies, diagnosis, and management of headaches in children and adolescents. As providers, we are all very aware of how common headaches are in our patient population and how challenging establishing the cause and prescribing the appropriate management can be.

In my previous role as the Director of Pediatric Resident Research for the pediatric program at The University of Chicago, I had the opportunity to assist a pediatric neurology resident (Dr. Afsaneh Talai) review the literature and organize a protocol for the management of acute migraine in patients presenting to the emergency department. I learned a lot about the relatively primitive “state-of-the-art” management of acute migraine in the pediatric patient. I think you will find the articles about migraine variants and management options for migraine to be valuable clinical resources.

In recent issues, we have had discussions about the diagnostic criteria for concussion and the importance of close follow up and reevaluation of these patients. There has been a lot of discussion in the news media and social media about the effects of concussion in athletes and the approach to management of return-to-play/participation, and an article in this issue provides practical information for pediatric providers about the best treatment approach to postconcussion headache.

When a pediatric patient presents and says this is “the worst headache I have ever had in my life,” that is a concerning scenario for which a prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical. The last two articles detail uncommon pediatric primary headache disorders and those that are life-threatening. Pediatricians can never learn enough about how to evaluate and manage headaches in children and adolescents. I think you will find this issue as valuable as I have.

Healthy Baby/Healthy Child

Dr. Leah Khan presents another clinically useful article about the diagnosis and management of anemia in children in this month's “Healthy Baby/Healthy Children” column. Although the primary focus is iron deficiency, she also provides an overview of the approach to anemia in general.

Health Insurance for All Children

As pediatric practitioners, we all have been closely following the status of the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) and are relieved that the United States Congress voted to reauthorize funding for the next 6 years;1 I hope we all will continue to be advocates for our patients.


Joseph R. Hageman, MD

Pediatric Annals Editor-in-Chief Joseph R. Hageman, MD, is the Director of Quality Improvement, Section of Neonatology, Comer Children's Hospital; a Senior Clinician Educator, The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine; and an Emeritus Attending Pediatrician, NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Address correspondence to Joseph R. Hageman, MD, via email:


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