Pediatric Headache Resources for Professionals

Referring a patient outside your care is an act of trust. We take this responsibility very seriously and welcome a partnership with you to confirm your patient's diagnosis, establish a care plan, and communicate regularly with you about your patient's treatment.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has many providers in the Division of Neurology caring for children with headaches. You may already have a relationship with one of the CHOP neurologists in your area. We recommend that you refer patients with headache issues directly to CHOP Neurology, instead of specific providers.

Please encourage patient families to contact CHOP by calling 215-590-1719. We match patients to the most appropriate provider based on headache characteristics, coexisting medical conditions, office location, and availability.

Second opinions from the Pediatric Headache Program

If your patient has already seen a neurologist and you are seeking a second opinion about diagnosis or treatment, please send your patient’s medical records to us by mail or email:

Pediatric Headache Program
c/o Division of Neurology
Attention: Second Opinions
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
3401 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Fax: 215-590-1771, Attention: Second Opinion — please limit to 25 pages.


We will also ask your patient’s family to complete this intake form and send it to us along with the above records. (This is a fillable PDF; it can be downloaded to your computer, completed, saved and emailed to us). 

Emergent referrals

While rare, headaches can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Below are guidelines about when to refer your patient to CHOP’s Emergency Department (ED):

  • Neurological signs or symptoms such as focal weakness, seizure, persistent paresthesias, or a change in mental status
  • New headache with sudden onset (i.e. abrupt thunderclap)
  • Rapid progression of severe headaches where you think the child needs imaging acutely
  • Acute head trauma
  • Red flags in the child’s medical history
  • The child looks sick
  • Vital signs are abnormal
  • Exam is abnormal

Additional resources