Does your child wake up in the middle of the night complaining about achy legs? Your child may have growing pains. Growing pains are muscle pain and cramping that many preschoolers and preteens feel in both legs. Children often experience the growing pains in the legs, especially in front of the thighs, behind the knees and in the calves, which can be mild or strong enough to wake your child up. Some children may also experience abdominal pain or headache during episodes of growing pain. Growing pains often occur in the late afternoon, late evening and sometimes at night which usually go away by morning.
Here's what you can do to ease your child's growing pain:
• Use a heating pad as heat can help soothe the sore muscles. Even a warm bath before bedtime may help.
• Children also respond to gentle massage, so try rubbing your child's legs when the growing pain strikes.
• Encourage your child to do some stretching exercises. Stretching can help the muscles in the legs during the day and may help prevent pain at night.
If the pain is persistent, interferes with your child's normal activities and still present in the morning, contact your doctor!