Dizziness in Children: Care Instructions

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Dizziness is a feeling of fuzziness in the head. It is not the same as having vertigo. That is a feeling that the room is spinning or that you are moving or falling. And it's not the same as feeling lightheaded. That is the feeling that you are about to faint.

It can be hard to know what causes dizziness. Having a fever, the flu, or another illness can make your child feel dizzy. Not getting enough liquids (dehydration) can also cause it. Some rare conditions, such as heart problems, can make a child feel dizzy. Many medicines can cause dizziness. This includes the kind your child may take for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

If a medicine causes your child's symptoms, the doctor may have you stop or change it. If there is no clear reason for your child's symptoms, the doctor may suggest watching and waiting. This means waiting for a while to see if the problem goes away on its own.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • If your doctor suggests or prescribes medicine, give it exactly as directed. Call your doctor if you think your child is having a problem with a medicine.
  • If your child can drive, do not let them drive while dizzy.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your child passes out (loses consciousness).

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child feels dizzy and has a fever, headache, or ringing in the ears.
  • Your child has new or increased nausea and vomiting.
  • The dizziness does not go away or comes back.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.