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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.


Persistent headaches, particularly on waking, 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 due to a brain tumour are likely to happen often and across different settings.

Abnormal head position

It’s important to take your child to their GP if they have a problem with their neck.

Delayed puberty

When a child starts 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.