What To Do If Your Child Has Growing Pains

Those aching legs and sore muscles that our youngsters experience could be growing pains. Are they cause for concern?

During the preschool and early school years, many children experience relatively severe pains in their legs, often after a strenuous day of activity. Usually dubbed growing pains, there’s little known about why this pain even occurs. In fact, most physicians believe there’s little connection between these pains and growth spurts except for the fact that they usually occur during a period of rapid growth.

Pediatrician Dr. William Feldman says “growing pains, by definition, means that it occurs in both legs usually around bed time. It can usually be made better by rubbing the legs or giving a little acetaminophen.”

Typically growing pains occur at night while a child is off his feet and in bed. And unless the pain is caused by something else, Dr. Feldman says parents can rest assured that growing pains will pass in time. “Growing pains, if you’re sure that they are growing pains, should never be a sign of concern. There are a couple of hallmarks of growing pains. First it always affects both legs, so if a child only has a pain in just one leg, never the other, then that’s not typical and should be seen by a physician. If you notice redness around the joints, swelling around the legs, a rash, fever or a limp then it’s not growing pains and the child should be seen.”

Dr. Feldman adds that growing pains are “always gone by morning”. If these pains are still present upon awakening this could signal something more serious.

In many ways growing pains are a right of childhood passage. Still if you have any concerns about leg pains in your child, then have him examined by his doctor.


Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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