Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Kids
If you can read this on your own, you can probably turn on the faucet to brush your teeth. And if you can reach the faucet, it’s a good bet you can get your own drinking glass from a kitchen cabinet.
These are all signs that you’re getting bigger and growing up. But for some kids, growing up comes with something doctors call growing pains.
Growing pains aren’t a disease. You probably won’t have to go to the doctor for them. But they can hurt. Usually they happen when kids are between the ages of 3 and 5 or 8 and 12. Doctors don’t believe that growing actually causes pain, but growing pains stop when kids stop growing. By the teen years, most kids don’t get growing pains anymore.
Kids get growing pains in their legs. Most of the time they hurt in the front of the thighs (the upper part of your legs), in the calves (the back part of your legs below your knees), or behind the knees. Usually, both legs hurt.
Growing pains often start to ache right before bedtime. Sometimes you go to bed without any pain, but you might wake up in the middle of the night with your legs hurting. The best news about growing pains is that they go away by morning.
Growing pains don’t hurt around the bones or joints (the flexible parts that connect bones and let them move) — only in the muscles. For this reason, some doctors believe that kids might get growing pains because they’ve tired out their muscles. When you run, climb, or jump a lot during the day, you might have aches and pains in your legs at night.
Your parent can help your growing pains feel better by giving you an over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Kids should not take aspirin because it can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.
Here are three other things that might help you feel better:
If you have a fever, are limping when you walk, or your leg looks red or is swollen (puffed up), your parent should take you to the doctor. Growing pains should not keep you from running, playing, and doing what you normally do. If the pain is bothering you during the day, talk to your parent about it.
You might never feel any growing pains, but if you do, remember that before you know it, you will outgrow them!
When your body is injured in some way, your nerves send messages to your brain about what’s going on. Your brain then makes you feel pain. Read our pain-free article for kids.
When you’re growing up, lots of changes happen and everyone wonders: Am I normal?
You’ve taken medicine before. But what is it?
How do you like your height? Check out this article if you feel too tall or too short.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.