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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 my child has a brain tumour, what should I do?

Brain tumours are rare, however, if you're worried, if a symptom persists or if your child has more than one of these symptoms then:

  • Talk to your doctor
    GP appointments are usually quite short, find out how to best prepare for your 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.