5 ways to deal with Growing pains in children

kids having growing pains- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Is your child suffering from what is popularly labelled “growing pains”? Pain in both legs that usually sets at the end of the day? Sometimes, children also wake up in the middle of the night, complaining of body pain – largely in the calf muscle and thigh area. This is common in the age group 3-5 and 8-12. While it is called ‘Growing pains’, there is little evidence that links growth spurts to these pains. They seem to be caused more due to excess exertion and muscle fatigue. These pains do not last very long and are completely random. They come on and off and usually do not last more than a day. If they are enduring, then definitely you need to consult a doctor. Here are a few ways to manage it:

1. Massage: Use oil like mustard oil that generates heat and massage their calf muscle after a particularly exhausting day. The massage would improve circulation and pre-empt the onset of muscle tightening and pain.

2. Teach them simple stretches: Children are happy to run around the whole day without resting. If they have friends and some space, they will go non-stop like energizer batteries. After they come home in the evening, teach them simple stretches of the leg. Calf muscle stretches and thigh muscle stretches can help in pre-empting the onset of pain during the night. A simple stretch would be the mountain stretch or downward dog stretch in Yoga.

growing pains in kids- Parenting resources by ZenParent

3. Apply heat as in hot water bottle or cold compresses: If your child is already in pain, alleviate the pain with hot or cold compresses. A hot water bottle is good for stiff muscles and an ice pack can give some relief if there is a sprain, bumps and bruises.

4. Enforce hydration: Dehydration can cause cramping and therefore ensure that your child is well hydrated especially during sporting activities or a particularly hot day of running around.

5. Pain management: Of course the last resort is to give your child crocin. It is the most innocuous of pain killers.

These pains are usually felt on both legs and not around the joints. If it involves the joint, or if your child is limping because of it, see a doctor right away. Otherwise, it is just a part of growing up and with good management at the right time, parents can help children pre-empt the onset of it.

What can be done for your child’s healthy growth and development? Click here!

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