Fort Worth, Texas,
10:39 AM

Growing pains

Part of The Doc Smitty's Masters in Parenting series

It’s midnight. You wake up with a tear-streaked face staring at you.

“Mom, my legs hurt.”

It wouldn’t be so concerning except that it’s happening four nights a week, for months. Right?

So, what do you do?

  • Scream (or sweetly say), “Your fine, now get back in bed!” Confidently roll over and go back to sleep.
  • Pull the child up into bed with you and worry till they go to sleep, then scour Google trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
  • Take them back to their room and massage their legs until they are able to go to sleep.

Growing pains…

  • Are not really because of growth but we’re not really sure why they happen.
  • Are located in the legs, sometimes in the arms.
  • Occur at night (bedtime or 1-2 hours into sleep) or with activity.
  • Occur at ages 3-6 years of age and again at 8-12.
  • Are concentrated in the muscle and not the joints.

You should be more worried when there is..

  • Swelling or redness
  • Associated fever
  • A limp
  • Pain is consistent throughout the day

What do you do to treat your child?

  • Reassure them that everything is OK
  • Massage
  • Warmth (heating pad)
  • Ibuprofen if severe pain
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