What exactly are these pains? Why do some kids get severe pain, while others get none? Could the pain mean something is really wrong? How can parents HELP ?
Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night. In many instances, growing pains will wake a child from sleep. The term “growing pains” may be a misnomer because there’s no evidence that growth hurts.
Usually they happen when kids are between the ages of 3 and 5 or 8 and 12. Doctors don’t believe that growing actually causes pain, but growing pains stop when kids stop growing. By the teen years, most kids don’t get growing pains anymore.
Kids get growing pains in their legs. Most of the time they hurt in the front of the thighs (the upper part of your legs), in the calves (the back part of your legs below your knees), or behind the knees. Usually, both legs hurt.and are more common in girls than boys ,and rarely lasts more than 10- 20 minutes.
Growing pains often start to ache right before bedtime. Sometimes you go to bed without any pain, but you might wake up in the middle of the night with your legs hurting. The best news about growing pains is that they go away by morning.
What causes growing pain?
The name of the condition is misleading: There’s no evidence that the pain is caused by growing bones. Experts don’t know for sure what causes the pain, but it does seem to occur more often after a child has had an especially active day. It doesn’t mean, though, that your child is doing anything wrong or that he needs to slow down.
Perfectly healthy children experience growing pains. In fact, 25 to 40 percent of children will have them at some point. Researchers at the University of South Australia recently found that children who have growing pains tend to be heavier (by about 5 percent) than children who don’t experience such pains.
Surprisingly growing pains tend to run in families. If one of your children is having a lot of growing pains ask your parents and your spouse’s parents. It’s likely one of you also had a lot of growing pains.
Helping Your Child:
Some things that may help alleviate the pain include:
- massaging the area
- placing a heating pad on the area
- giving ibuprofen or acetaminophen