Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys share your experiences and help create change

Abnormal head position

A problem with your child’s neck, causing them to hold or move their head in an unusual way, could be a sign of a brain tumour. If your child has this symptom, it’s important to take them to your GP.

How can a brain tumour cause an abnormal head position?

A brain tumour at the back of the head can cause your child to have a stiff neck.

They may develop a head tilt. This is where the child holds their head or neck in an unusual way, such as at an awkward angle or in a twisted position.

Your child may develop what is called a ‘wry neck’. This is where they have difficulty turning their head from side to side.

When should I visit my doctor?

If you notice that your child has problems with their neck or is holding their head at an unusual angle, book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. If your child is over the age of three you should also book an appointment at your optician to get their eyes checked.

If your child shows one symptom you should book an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. If they are experiencing two or more symptoms you should request an urgent referral to a consultant.

If symptoms are severe or occur suddenly, take your child to an emergency department or call 999.

I think I have a brain tumour, what should I do?

Brain tumours are rare, however, if you’re worried and a symptom persists or if your child has more than one symptom of a brain tumour then:

  • Talk to your doctor
    GP appointments are usually quite short, so make sure you find out how to best prepare for your child’s appointment.
  • Get an eye test
    If your child’s symptoms are limited to changes in vision and/or headaches, get their eyes tested by an optician before seeing your GP.
  • Go to A&E
    If the symptoms are sudden or severe, you should go to your emergency department or call 999.

Should I speak to a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic?

We understand you may feel worried about seeking help from your GP during the coronavirus pandemic – but please don’t delay speaking to a healthcare professional.

The NHS and your GP are still here for you and have made changes that make it easier to safely speak to a healthcare professional and get medical help if you need it.

It’s more important than ever for you to prepare for your appointments by understanding what might happen during the appointment and what questions you want to ask.

More information

Download the HeadSmart symptoms card – PDF

Pocket-sized symptoms card that list the common signs and symptoms of childhood brain tumours, which you can take with you to your family GP if you are concerned about your child.

Check the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour

Know the Signs and Symptoms

Although brain tumours are rare, if you or a loved one are experiencing two or more of the signs and symptoms it’s important that you speak to your doctor to rule out a brain tumour.

Share your experiences and help create change

By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.