Neurological complications of acute mastoiditis are rare but can be life threatening. Their presentation may be masked by the use of antibiotics. We present a unique case of acute otitis media progressing to occipital, extradural and subdural abscess formation and lateral sinus thrombosis in a child. The clinical course and management of a pre-adolescent male is presented and discussed. We review the incidence, presentation and treatment of occipital abscesses and lateral sinus thrombosis with acute mastoiditis. Following extended cortical mastoidectomy, neck exploration and broad spectrum intravenous antibiotics, the patient made a full recovery. This is the first reported case of acute mastoiditis associated with occipital abscess in a child. Early, aggressive treatment is required for a successful outcome. The rarity of neurological complications, in addition to the insidious onset and subtle symptoms associated with antibiotic therapy, can make diagnosis extremely difficult. Patients with acute otitis media who fail to respond fully to treatment should be referred early for a specialist otology opinion.