Sep 16, 2021


Interviewer: When you're a parent and your child has growing pains, it can be kind of concerning. Pediatrician Dr. Cindy Gellner, how common is it for kids to have growing pains and is it really something parents need to worry about?

Dr. Gellner: So we always say growing pains are because the bones are growing. But that actually hasn't been proven. Growing pains might just be aching muscles from jumping, climbing, and running. It occurs in about 25% to 40% of children, and they generally occur in 3 to 5-year-olds and 9 to 14-year-olds when kids have their big growth spurts.

And you can help your child by massaging their legs, stretching, using a heating pad, or giving Tylenol or ibuprofen. Don't give aspirin because it can be a link to Reye's syndrome, which can be very serious. Call your doctor if your child's pain is long lasting, there is swelling in one particular joint, or if your child is limping and it's not due to an injury. If it's just growing pains, it'll pass.

updated: September 16, 2021
originally published: July 28, 2017

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