Know the Symptoms
Children (5-11 years)
It’s important to remember that many of these symptoms are extremely common and experiencing one by itself is rarely a sign of a brain tumour. However, being aware of all the potential symptoms can help you be ready to take action if two or more symptoms are experienced at the same time.
In this age group, some young children will not be able to describe how they feel, so you may need to look out for signs that they are unwell from how they look or behave – like going off their food or holding their head or neck.
If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
If symptoms develop quickly or are severe, call 999 or go to the emergency department.
Persistent / recurrent headache
Headaches are common, but you should keep an eye out for persistent headaches that occur most days, particularly when waking up.
A loss or reduction in motor skills can be very subtle, for example changing hand or foot preference or a loss of learned skills like handwriting or ability at computer games.
Persistent / recurrent vomiting
Persistent vomiting or feeling sick, especially when not accompanied by diarrhoea or a high temperature.
Abnormal eye movements
Visual abnormalities you may notice are squints, one eye bulging or eyes seeming to be wobbling, quivering or flickering.
Blurred or double vision/loss of vision
Your child may show reduced awareness of their surroundings or display subtle changes to their behaviour, like being clingier in unfamiliar surroundings.
Be mindful when these changes occur persistently over days or weeks and across all settings – such as at home, school and when out playing.
Seizures or fits
A seizure can be a brief moment when your baby appears to be “absent” from what is going on around them, or jerking/twitching of a hand, arm, leg or the whole body.
Abnormal head position
You may notice your child has a stiff neck, an unusual head tilt or difficulties turning their head and this likely be persists over weeks.
Your child being unresponsive or less responsive could include a reduced response to pain or someone’s voice, appearing confused or you not being able to rouse them from sleep.
Excessive thirst, needing to urinate more frequently and increased accidents or bed wetting could be a sign of diabetes insipidus.
If your child isn’t growing as much as they should be for their age, this could potentially be caused by a hormone imbalance.