Growing Pains

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by Patrice on January 19, 2011 · 1 comment

in Physical Health

A child crying out in pain in the middle of the night might disrupt the whole household. In cases of a sore throat or earache, the single mom will reach for a thermometer and try to sooth the child, with the confidence of knowing what is wrong.

When the child is complaining of aches or throbbing in the legs and there is no apparent reason that mom can find all sorts of fears and doubts creep in.

Without other symptoms, the cause of the pain in the legs of children in the evening and night time hours is referred to as growing pains. In spite of the name, growing doesn’t cause pain, but although there is no definite cause linked to the phenomena most doctors agree that the child’s musculoskeletal system becomes stressed after a day of jumping and playing.

According to the Mayo Clinic, growing pains are most common in children between the ages of 2 and 12 and occur in girls more often than in boys.

The child will complain of pain behind the knees, at the front of the thighs or in the calves. Usually the pain affects both of the legs. Some bouts of growing pains can be accompanied by headache or stomach pain.

Mom can make her child more comfortable when growing pains are present by massaging the muscles and applying heat. There is usually no need to see a doctor.

If the pain is persistent or doesn’t go away before morning, call the child’s doctor. If any pain is in the joints or follows an injury, it may not be growing pains. Any pain that interferes with the normal activities of the child should also be brought to the attention of the doctor.

Any time that there is fever, swelling, tenderness, redness, rash, swelling, weakness, loss of appetite or fatigue with the pain a doctor should be called to rule out an underlying illness.

If you’re not confident that the pain your child is experiencing is caused by growing pains, have you child seen by the doctor.

Otherwise, comfort the child and explain that it’s all a part of growing up. In many cases the pain will disappear with just a simple cuddle.

About Patrice

Patrice Campbell is a freelance writer working from the Denver area. Campbell started her writing career in the 1980’s, working for several Wisconsin local papers as a news, human interest and features writer, as well as a photographer.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Angie Schilling January 20, 2011 at 11:10 am

One of my preschoolers had growing pains. He would cry out in pain. We lessend that pain by giving him Tylenol and massaging his legs. It seemed to help him. He also thought it to be a big deal to sleep in moms room in a sleeping bag because he looked at it like a slumber party.


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