1. Are most commonly located in the legs
  2. Occur at night and occasionally with activity
  3. Occur between 3-6 years of age and again at 8-12 years
  4. Concentrated in the muscles

Growing pains are so common that your child will likely experience them at some point. We do not know for sure what causes them.  Some physicians have suggested it might be soreness from the increased activity of certain age group but no one really knows for sure.

So, when is the time to be concerned?                    

  1. If there is associated swelling or redness
  2. If there is  associated fever
  3. If you notice a limp
  4. The pain is consistent throughout the day

Most pain in the arms and legs will be growing pains in this age group but if these are present, talk with your doctor. More workup (such as labs or xrays) or a referral to a specialist might be in order.

What can you do with your child who has growing pains?

Massage is always a good idea.  A little time with mommy or daddy and a simple massage of the muscles is usually enough to calm the child down and help them go back to sleep.

Tell them that everything is ok. Reassuring them and yourself often puts everyone at ease.

If all else fails, a small dose of ibuprofen is a good last line of defense. If this does not work, it’s time to go see your doctor.