Growing Up Can Be a Real Pain

A young boy smiles while flexing the muscles in his right arm.While it might be a pain for parents to have to replace a pair of shoes every six weeks, or discover that a pair of pants that were the right size last week no longer fit, it’s the kids who deal with the real growing pains. The term “growing pains” was adopted in the late 1930s when limb pain in children ages 3-12 was thought to be caused by a faster growth of the bones. However, research has shown that these pains are not actually associated with growing. Ten to 35 percent of boys and girls in that age group have reported minor pain in the limbs at least once.

The average rate of growth is too gradual for these muscle aches or pains to actually be painful. After age 5, the average child will grow approximately two inches and gain four pounds each year. During some of these major growth milestones, your child may complain of nighttime leg pain or discomfort in their legs. “Growing pains” may consist of tenderness in the limbs caused by a lot of physical activity. You may want to encourage your child to take breaks during play time or after sporting events. They may not experience discomfort while playing. You can also use their nightly bath to help soothe the muscles before they begin to ache or become sore. Ask for pediatrician for the proper dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen to decrease inflammation. 

Speak with your pediatrician if your child complains of consistent pain, or if you notice:

  • Swelling that doesn’t decrease after 24 hours
  • A lump in the muscle
  • Reddening or warmth of the skin over the muscle
  • Fever
  • Walking with a limp

Call (888) 487-0183 or contact us to find a pediatrician or a pediatric specialist in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Planty City, or any of the surrounding areas.