We’re dealing with growing pains at our house recently.
It would be fair to say we have growing pains in several areas of life right now, but the most obvious are the jabbing, aching, shooting pains waking both my kids up in the middle of the night. Remember those?
I sure do. I can remember a specific night, age 11, when the pains in my shins and feet were crippling, I was convinced death had come for me. And if death hadn’t come for me, then amputation would certainly be the only solution to my agony. At 3 a.m., Mom assured me I wouldn’t die, could keep my appendages, gave me a brief massage, and dose of Advil. Come morning, the pain was gone, and a normal day ensued, but I remember thinking, “If this is the cost of growing, than I would rather stay this size forever.”
Both my children were ravaged by these same growing pains on the same night this week. Oh, what a night! I followed my mom’s lead, snuggled, reassured, massaged and doled out the pain relief. Our eldest made it through the night in her own bed, but our youngest ended up snoozing the rest of the night away between our sheets.
To my surprise, growing pains actually aren’t caused from growing bones, but perhaps more from overly-used muscles in running, climbing, jumping, or sports.
A quick overview, according to Web M.D.:
· Growing pains strike mostly in the preschool and pre-teen years between ages 3 to 4 and then again between ages 8 and 12.
· Growing pains affect some children more than others and still some children not at all.
· Pain usually strikes in late afternoon, dinner time, or bed-time.
· Strong pain can and will wake some children from sleep and usually affects the legs.
· By morning, all symptoms have subsided and do not inhibit daily activities.
· Interestingly, children who suffer from growing pains tend to have a lower pain tolerance and are more prone to headaches and abdominal pain.
Further review reveals my mom gave appropriate growing pain relief, even before the invention of the internet! Massaging the leg, heating pads, stretching, and over-the-counter pain relief medications are all appropriate remedies for growing pains.
A quick Google search proves most helpful and informative. Now, here’s something I didn’t find online that you might also find helpful: After sleepily giving your child an appropriate dose of Children’s Advil in the wee hours of the night, be certain to properly close the child-resistant cap. Otherwise, you will find your two-and-a-half year-old taking shots of his favorite grape-flavored medicine the next morning in the bathroom. Yikes!
Note: Growing pains are muscle-related and not joint pain, do not cause limping, and will not induce fever. Please call your medical professional if you have concerns.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs every Monday on momaha.
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