Up to 40% of children aged eight to twelve will experience the ache and sleepless nights of growing pains. While growing pains are a common part of children’s development, there are some things mums (and dads) can do to make their experience easier.
In this article, we learn more about what growing pains are and what you can do to help your child through this transition.
What are Growing Pains?
Many people believe that growing pains are caused by the rapid bone growth that occurs in children at this age. In reality, bone growth is likely not the cause of pain, but overworked muscles. Children are highly active at this age and the excessive running, jumping, and climbing they love to do may lead to aching at night.
How to Tell if Your Child Has Growing Pains
Growing pains tend to concentrate on the muscles of the legs, particularly the calves, thighs, and behind the knees. There are typically no symptoms in the joints, so if your child is experiencing joint pain, redness, or swelling, there is likely another issue at play.
Growing pains are most common in the late afternoon or early evening, especially after an active day. However, some children will experience growing pains later at night and may even be woken up by them in the middle of the night.
In most children, growing pains are not an everyday occurrence and tend to subside with rest, touch, massage, and cuddling.
Mum (or Dad) to the Rescue
Growing pains are a difficult experience for most children, but a parents touch can help. A soothing massage tends to reduce your child’s pain and ease them back to sleep. Mums can also help their children stretch either before their active day or at night before bed to help prevent excess pain. Many children also find heat to be helpful in relieving pain. Warm a hot water bottle or heating pad and place over the affected areas.
Growing pains are real and for some children they are unavoidable. Being prepared and supporting your child through this transition is another way you will grow together through this period.
Written by Kaitlan D.
As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.
 Dowshen S. Growing Pains. 2015-06
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.