Do 5 Year Old Boys Have Growing Pains in Legs?

Updated on May 10, 2009
T.D. asks from Martinez, CA
21 answers

Hi Moms-
I have a handsome 5 year old son that has been complaining of his calves hurting. My mother & I thought they were growing pains as he has not had any serious accidents. He plays baseball and is quite active.. What do think? Do boys get growing pains in legs?

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Featured Answers

T.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Oh yes! My five year old has had them for a while and my 7 year old still gets them sometimes. Try Hylands Calms Forte 4 kids and a heating pad you may even need to rub them. Good Luck!

http://hylands.com/products/calms4kids.php

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I have a 12 year old son and a 7 year old son and both have complained of "growing pains" in their legs at different stages of their growth. It has come and gone since around 4 or 5 years old. Its never very bad, but whenever it happens I get them a good quality calcium/magnesium supplement from the health food store (there are some that cannot easily be absorbed by the body) and give them epsom salt baths and they move through it till the next time. The 12 year old still gets them sometimes. I call them growing pains but it may technically be something else?? Good luck!

More Answers

W.M.

answers from Sacramento on

T.,
He could have growing pains, or shin splints since he does play sports. Do they hurt in the back or the front?
Shin splint are on the front. They are very painful,
and will go away in time, or you can stretch them out to make it go away faster. Good luck.
W. M.

G.L.

answers from Fresno on

YES! my just turned 5yr old son complains off & on since he was 4.

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S.M.

answers from San Francisco on

DO they!! My oldest son is 18, and he's 6'3" and still growing! He had growing pains every few years, starting a little later than age five, but they didn't end until just a couple years ago. I took him to the pediatrician several times before I was willing to accept that "growing pains" was an actual diagnosis; then I just started giving him a little leg massage now and then, and so far, so good!

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S.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Yes he can. I have 4 grown children and I remember getting up in the night a walking with them and rubbing their legs until the pain subsided.

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T.S.

answers from Sacramento on

My son who is 5, and also active has been going through the same thing for quite some time. They pain is on and off and more pronounced after a day of hard playing.

I referred to the internet and found a good bit of information.

I have noticed that it does happen at night. He usually will begin to complain about it when he is going to sleep. At first, I thought it was to find an excuse to stay up longer but it wasn't.

I found it helpful to ask him to point to exactly where it was hurting. He usually pointed to his knees. This helped me diagnose when he was really hurting or just looking for an extra 20 minutes before bed.

I try to help him through it with massage or an ice pack. Others require medicine. My son responds well when I tell him that his legs are growing and he will probably be as tall as mommy in the morning. He quickly goes to sleep so he can wake up and see how much he grew! Good Luck!

Here is a short article from parenting.com that you may find helpful:

It isn't clear what causes "growing pains" -- it could be the long bones in the legs growing faster than muscles, temporary joint misalignment, or just kids playing too hard. But they're common, especially in preschoolers, and the pain is real, says Thomas Lehman, M.D., a pediatric rheumatologist. Growing pains:

* Only happen at night.
* Are more likely after an active day.
* Occur only in the lower legs -- ankles, shins, or knees.

If your child's pains don't fit into this pattern, talk to the doctor. Ditto if they get worse, or if he wakes up with stiff or painful legs, or has a limp. Several conditions start with nighttime pain but can progress.

True growing pains respond well to massage, TLC, and acetaminophen. They come in spurts, and are rare after 10.

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H.Z.

answers from Bakersfield on

my four year old has been having the same complaint almost always at night. I asked his pediatrician and he didn't seem concerned and said it was probably growing pains. I know I had them as a kids as well, not sure if there is any heriditary component to them. It probably only happens a few times a month and I just give him childrens asprin and that takes care of it. Hope this helps!

J.E.

answers from San Francisco on

It's totally normal. Check to make sure his shoes fit correctly too. That can cause aches and pains when they are getting too small.

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R.S.

answers from Redding on

I had the exact same pains when I was a kid. It really hurts. Sometimes my mom would help me through the pain by asking me questions like "what color is the pain?" you could also ask "what sound does the pain make?" These types of questions helped distract me and and allowed me to talk about the pain with my mother. I think I stopped getting them when I was around 12 or 13.

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D.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello T.: Yes, the pains are real not only in the legs but in all the joints as changes and growth takes place. One of my children had such pain when she was growing and the changes were taking place that she was hospitalized. My son we knew was having problems because it hurt so bad to just move and he was a very active child in every sport and must have climbed every tree in the canyon. Both of our children had a specialist at Kaiser in Oakland and Hayward that saved our bacon more than once when we needed to understand what was going on. So please check with your doctor. There is great information to be had on this subject through your doctor,on line and here at mama source. Good Luck in the adventure of Parenthood, Nana G

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A.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi T.
I could be wrong, but I don't think at 5 they would have them yet, however, since he does play baseball, my guess is.. his calves need to be stretched out properly, I suspect the ache he may be feeling is tightness and while he may be feeling it in his calves, there is a good chance, his entire leg could use a proper good stretch. Does anyone help him stretch after practice or a game? I doubt that a 5 year old would really know how to correctly do it on his own. Also, massaging out the stiffness may very well help too.

good luck!

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

I sure do believe it! I also believe that they can teeth all the way through 1st Grade! :O)

Happy Mother's Day!

~N. :O)

L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

both my brother and sister had growing pains well past 5 yrs...and my huspabd had then til middle school, so i would say they could :)

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R.C.

answers from Sacramento on

I have a 12 year old son and a 7 year old son and both have complained of "growing pains" in their legs at different stages of their growth. It has come and gone since around 4 or 5 years old. Its never very bad, but whenever it happens I get them a good quality calcium/magnesium supplement from the health food store (there are some that cannot easily be absorbed by the body) and give them epsom salt baths and they move through it till the next time. The 12 year old still gets them sometimes. I call them growing pains but it may technically be something else?? Good luck!

T.H.

answers from Sacramento on

My son had the same pains when he was little (he is now 16). It is most likely growing pains but if you are worried, call his doctor and ask him/her. My son usually got these when he was going through a growth spurt and that usually happened in the summertime.

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V.R.

answers from Redding on

I had growing pains when I was 5 so I think its possible.
But, I'd also mae sure he's stretching before sports and drinking enough fluids as I believe that dehydration can cause leg cramps.

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E.V.

answers from San Francisco on

I agree that growing pains are possible and common. Have you noticed that he's experienced another growth spurt? Another great thing to check is to make sure he's walking heel to toe. That's the best way to keep that calf stretched. Some kids start walking this way so late, that is can shorten that muscle and encourage problems. Help him stretch by taking walks (correctly) and warm baths at night. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear T.,
I think ALL children get pains in their legs as they grow.
I remember being very young and hurting so badly at night that I just cried and cried. It really scared me. My mom thought I was full of it, but my dad sat at the edge of my bed and rubbed my legs for me and told me I was okay...it just meant I was growing and maybe I played too hard that day. He stayed with me until I fell asleep.
I did the same thing for my children, a girl and a boy.
When they told me their legs ached, I believed them. It really does hurt, but they are both perfectly fine.
I have a friend who raced her son to the ER everytime he complained of his legs hurting and many x-rays and hospital bills later, there was no diagnosable malady.
Give ibuprofin, massage....
If it becomes a persistant problem, if your son is spiking a high fever or you notice a rash on his body while he's having the pains, you definitely should have him checked out. But yes, "growing pains" are real.
Best of wishes!

J.K.

answers from Fresno on

All kids get these growing pains and for many years. My daughter still gets them and she is 14. They will bring her to tears.

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V.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello
thats a good question. My son who is 7yrs old is active and plays baseball as well. Just yesterday he was complaining about his calves hurting too. I told him is because of all the practices and games and exercise he's doing is causing the problem so i just massage them. I really don't know but, i hope this helps. If you find out something different please let me know and good luck.
Nessa

T.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Oh yes! My five year old has had them for a while and my 7 year old still gets them sometimes. Try Hylands Calms Forte 4 kids and a heating pad you may even need to rub them. Good Luck!

http://hylands.com/products/calms4kids.php

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