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"My 4-year old son woke up with a headache and a fever and is now complaining of backache. Is this serious?"

ZocdocAnswersMy 4-year old son woke up with a headache and a fever and is now complaining of backache. Is this serious?


Is this something serious?


Sorry to hear about your son. It is especially troubling when this is one of your children, which is always hard as a parent. I would suggest that you take your son to see his doctor, because the symptoms that you describe could be a sign of something serious. Doctors are trained to consider the worst case scenario, and whenever we hear of a headache and fever that is also associated with back pain, it makes us at least somewhat concerned about something as serious as meningitis. While meningitis is not altogether common, it is a serious enough condition that you should speak with your doctor soon. Obviously, there are many other possibilities, some of which are infections, and others of which are not. Many common infections can lead to some of the same symptoms, and children can also have other ailments, whether it be from environmental exposures or other processes that can lead to similar symptoms. That is why doctors usually advise you to be seen in person when you have a question such as this, because there is such a wide range of possibilities that it is important to make sure your son is well. Please speak with a doctor.

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