Many parents notice that children over the age of three complain of pain in their limbs. Children often have pain in their legs and less often in their hands. This condition often manifests itself in the evening when the baby relaxes and gets ready for bed. Parents are worried about the health of their children because sometimes the pain is quite strong: the child cannot fall asleep or wakes up at night.
The kid in the morning does everything as usual: leads an active lifestyle, runs, jumps. Complaints of pain happen periodically. The child between them does not complain about health. There are no factors in his behavior that would frighten his parents. This condition is associated with growing pains in toddlers.
What Causes Growing Pains in Toddlers?
Despite the name of the condition “growing pains”, there is no evidence that discomfort is associated with the physical growth of the baby. A common medical opinion about the causes of pain is that a child’s bones grow faster than tendons. Ligaments and muscles are stretched and causing discomfort.
Children run a lot. Muscles ache in the evening when the child is calm from increased physical activity. Many doctors attribute pain to fatigue after moving around.
The appearance of growing pains in the evenings is explained by the fact that during the daytime of the day the child receives a huge stream of data from the outside world. The baby’s brain cannot process all the information. The central nervous system receives pain impulses in a state of calm. The pain in the muscles seems to appear during rest.
What is Growing Pains
Drawing or sharp pains in the muscles of the limbs in children are called growing pains. It is not an inflammatory process, is not accompanied by fever, or intoxication of the body, and does not pose a threat to health. Every fourth child in the world reports pain in the limbs that are not associated with injuries.
Children begin to suffer from discomfort in the legs periodically. Discomfort for the first time can be felt by babies from the age of 3 years. Pain recurs after a break at the age of 5-6 years and then at 8-10 years. The condition is usually seen in children under 12 years of age. Adolescents rarely complain of growing pains.
Symptoms of Growing Pains in Toddlers
The pain is most often spasmodic or pulling in nature. Toddlers feel discomfort in the limbs synchronously and both legs or arms hurt. Usually, the condition lasts from 5 to 30 minutes with a frequency of once every few days.
Children feel discomfort only in the muscles and not in the joints with growth pains. Toddlers almost always complain of pain in the evening or at night. Sometimes the child wakes up and cannot fall asleep due to severe muscle spasms.
Most often, the front of the thighs, calves, and legs behind the knees hurt. Sometimes the child suffers from phantom pains. Complains about the condition but cannot pinpoint the exact location of the discomfort. Growth pains in rare cases are accompanied by headaches and the child may feel cramps in the stomach.
How to Treat Growing Pains?
Any complaint about the health of the baby worries moms and dads. Growing pains for no apparent reason disorientate parents. They do not understand how to help the child. Doctors emphasize that there is no cure for this condition. You can ease the suffering of the baby. The best way is to massage the limbs and light strokes.
A soothing herbal bath at a comfortable temperature for intense pain is recommended. It is allowed to give a baby painkiller if the growing pains are severe, repeat every day, and do not let the baby sleep. Preparations based on ibuprofen and acetaminophen are dosed according to the age of the child.
Properly adjusted nutrition can alleviate pain in the limbs. The child’s diet must contain vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and cereals. Pain can be exacerbated by a deficiency of essential vitamins. You can give your child vitamin complexes in consultation with the pediatrician.
How To Diagnose Growing Pains in Toddlers?
Growth pains are episodic and last from half an hour to several hours a day. This condition is not accompanied by fever or other unpleasant symptoms. You can diagnose the condition from the words of the child. Doctors recommend getting tested to rule out a serious illness. A general blood test will report the presence of a deficiency of trace elements in the baby’s body.
Sometimes they offer to undergo an X-ray examination for severe pain in the limbs. The examination helps to establish the existence of problems in the joints. The diagnosis is made by the doctor based on a conversation with the parents, the baby, and the results of the tests. This will have to be done by the mother if the child is small and cannot correctly describe his state of health.
Mom should observe the baby at the first signs of behavioral changes and complaints of poor condition. You can record the number of cases and the nature of the pain so as not to miss important data about the health of the child.
Anything You Can Do to Prevent Growing Pains?
Growth pains in the limbs disturb the child. Parents need to remain calm so as not to frighten the baby. It is necessary to calm the child, let him rest, and lie down with him with complaints of pulsation or a pulling state in the muscles. It is recommended to briefly put the baby’s legs above the level of the heart (substitute a pillow or roller).
A soothing bath helps relieve tension in the leg muscles. It is worth reviewing the schedule of the child’s day if he leads a very active way of life. The same applies to children who play sports. You can leave the child in bed for a day and temporarily stop training. Properly composed daily routine and diet help to get rid of discomfort in the muscles of the limbs.
Sometimes parents use soothing ointments. It is important to remember that self-medication can harm the child. The younger the children, the more cautiously one should choose methods of prevention of growing pains.
When to See a Doctor
Any pain signals that something is wrong with the human body. This also applies to growing pains. It is worth consulting with a pediatrician at the first manifestations of the condition. Contacting a pediatrician will help not to miss the development of a more serious disease.
The periodicity of pain sometimes plays a cruel joke: the child and parents get used to them. Often the family expects the condition to go away on its own and the baby simply “outgrows” it. A doctor should be contacted immediately if the child feels pain not only in the evening but also during the day.
Visit the doctor when the baby feels heaviness in one limb, it is difficult to walk, swelling of the joints occurs, the body temperature rises, and the parents noticed weight loss. The child may lose appetite, appear tired, and have headaches.