Aches & Pains in Children: Symptoms, Causes & Relief
- Children’s aches and pains might sometimes be difficult for you to understand.
- “Growing Pains” might just be the aches and discomforts of the running, jumping, and climbing (and falling off) things that growing children do.
- Older children may be able to answer the question all parents ask at some point “Where does it hurt?”, but that can be difficult in much younger children, for example children who are teething.
When to seek medical help
Types of aches and pains
- Growing pains
- Bumps and bruises
- Teething pains
- These aches and pains vary in origin
- They are either part of growing up or accidental
- They make your child uncomfortable.
- All of them can be treated.
Causes of aches and pains
Here is some information about a few common examples of aches and pains in children. The bad news? They can make your child uncomfortable. The good news? There is suitable relief for these pains.
Growing pains are common in children, particularly in those aged 3-5 years and 8-11 years, and typically occur later in the day or at night. The cause is unknown, bone growth itself hasn’t been proven to cause pain. The aches are mainly found in the leg muscles, like the front of the thighs and back of the knees and their calves, rather than in the joints.
Bumps and bruises
Children often injure themselves while playing, like falling over. If you see swelling or discolouration, it might be a bump or a bruise. Seek medical attention if you are concerned about your child’s injury.
As your child’s teeth emerge, your child can be more irritable. This is part of your child’s growth, and some things to look out for to help identify teething pain include:
- More drool and dribble than usual.
- Biting and chewing on anything available.
- Being a bit more grumpy than usual.
- A mild temperature.
How to relieve aches and pains
Some of the things you can try to comfort your child if they’re complaining of aches and pains include:
- A warm bath before bedtime.
- A gentle leg massage.
- A covered hot water bottle (or heat pack) on the affected area.
- Medicines that reduce pain, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Plenty of cuddles and reassurance.
Bumps and bruises
Minor bumps and bruises are usually not serious, but can be uncomfortable. Here are a few things you can try to soothe your child’s pain:
- Rest the injured part, and elevate it if possible. Ice the injured area with a cold pack or ice wrapped in a cloth, and compress it with a firm (but not tight) bandage
- If necessary, you can use an appropriate pain reliever containing ibuprofen, like Nurofen for Children.
Teething can be a painful part of childhood development, but there are ways to help try and relieve the discomfort. Here are a few things you can try to take your child’s mind off teething pain:
- Give them a teething ring to chew on.
- Play with your child to distract them from the pain.
- Gently rub their gums with a clean finger.
- If necessary, you can use an appropriate pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Nurofen for Children.
Why ibuprofen can help
Ibuprofen relieves inflammation and pain, and also combats fever.
Why Nurofen For Children can help your child
Nurofen for Children comes in a variety of formulations for children of different ages from 3 months to 12 years.
This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.
This medicine may not be right for you. Read the label before purchase. Follow the directions for use. Incorrect use could be harmful. If symptoms persist, talk to your healthcare professional.