The same things that give you a stiff neck—cold or sudden movement—can trigger one in your child. Jimmy’s stiff neck hurts just as much as yours does, and it makes him hold his neck at an angle just like you do. Pain medication, repeated as needed, will help considerably, but kids usually don’t go for heating pads.
Neck pain should last no more than a couple of days. If it persists or if it’s accompanied by significant fever over 102°F, it raises the suspicion of meningitis, a rare but serious infection of the brain. If your child is suffering from lingering neck pain and fever, call your doctor.