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Brain tumour symptoms in children

Around 500 children and young people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour each year. While brain tumours are rare, it is important to be aware of brain tumour symptoms in children, so that you can go to your doctor if you are concerned.

Below we’ll take a look at some of the brain tumour symptoms a child might experience.


Persistent headaches, particularly when waking up, can be a brain tumour symptom.

Changes in vision

Brain tumours can cause abnormal eye movements, blurred or double vision.

Nausea and vomiting

Persistent vomiting/feelings of nausea (over a two week period) can be a sign of a brain tumour.

Balance problems

A loss or reduction in motor skills could be a sign of a serious illness, including a brain tumour.


Fits or seizures can have a variety of causes but should be viewed as a potentially serious symptom.

Behaviour changes

Behaviour changes like tiredness and lack of energy could be symptoms of a brain tumour.

Abnormal head position

A tilted head or stiff neck could be symptoms of a brain tumour in a child. Learn more about this here.

Delayed puberty

The age that children start puberty can vary greatly, find out when to be concerned.

Abnormal growth

If your baby, child or teenager’s growth stops or is delayed this can be a sign of a brain tumour.

Excessive thirst

Excessive thirst and increased urination can be a sign of diabetes mellitus or insipidus.

Reduced consciousness

Reduced consciousness could be caused by a serious illness, including a brain tumour.

I suspect brain tumour symptoms in my child, what do I do now?

Many of the brain tumour symptoms in children can be similar to symptoms of other illnesses. So, if you’re concerned and want to be sure that you get the right help, we have some information that might help you.

Talk to your child’s doctor

Find out how to the make the most of a visit to the doctor, and which questions to ask. We also break down what will likely happen before, during, and after the visit. To find out more, click the button below.

Visit the optician

If your child is having vision problems, an optician might be able to help by doing an eye test. To find out more, click the button below.

Get support

If you would like to speak to someone to learn a little more about brain tumour symptoms in a child, we’re here to help. You can reach our helpful and kind support team by clicking the below button.