Growing pains, which produce discomfort in the lower extremities, affect about 20 to 40 percent of all children, according to the KidsHealth website. The most likely cause of the condition is discomfort from the child’s active lifestyle, not the actual growth of his bones. The ages of 3 to 5 and 8 to 12 are the most likely to be affected. Speak to your pediatrician to rule out an injury if your child’s pain and discomfort persists.
Stretch the muscles in the child's lower body. The child can do lunges, leg raises and toe touches to stretch the muscles and relieve discomfort from growing pains. She should stretch at night, since growing pains are most likely to occur in the evening hours.
Massage the affected area. Gently rub the legs to relieve discomfort naturally. Apply slight amounts of pressure and ask the child to direct you to the sites of pain. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the thighs and calves of one or both legs are the most likely to be affected.
Use mild heat on the legs to stop the pain. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the legs of the child. Apply heat for 10-to-15-minute intervals to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation. Growing pains typically last no more than 15 minutes.
Limit the child's activity the next day. Growing pains often strike after a particularly active period. If symptoms persist the next day, keep his schedule light.
Do not give your child aspirin as a way to treat growing pains. It can cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. If you decide to use medication, give ibuprofen or acetaminophen after consulting with your child's health care practitioner. Dosing information is provided on the packaging.