How to Help Your Child Manage Growing Pains
posted by Brandon Hall, MD | May 18, 2018
Parents of growing children often hear complaints of aches, cramps and muscle pains. These complaints are most common in the afternoon or evening, and the pain may even wake your child up at night.
Most kids start to experience growing pains when they reach preschool age and again in their preteen years—around 8 to 12. Here are some signs that your child might be experiencing growing pains, what causes these, and how you can help.
Symptoms of growing pains are different for every kid, and they commonly ebb and flow. This pain is centered in muscles, not joints, and usually occur in the following areas:
In addition, headaches or abdominal pain are more likely for kids with growing pains. They also may be more sensitive to pain in general.
Beware that growing pains should not cause any abnormal appearance, such as swelling, redness or tenderness. If you notice these symptoms in joints, they’re likely signs of a more serious disease, and you should contact your child’s doctor.
The name “growing pains” can be a little confusing, as there’s actually no evidence that growth spurts cause them. In reality, growing pains are usually just the result of muscle aches that stem from a full, long day of intense activity. Many parents notice that growing pains are more common after their child has played a full day of sports, for instance.
As a parent, there are a few things you can do to help reduce growing pain symptoms for your child:
Growing pain symptoms may reach a level where you should call your doctor. In some of these cases, pain symptoms may not even necessarily be due to growing pains specifically, but they should still be examined by a doctor. These situations include:
Your doctor can offer further recommendations when it comes to managing your child’s growing pains.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.
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