4 Year Old Having Trouble Walking After Shots

Updated on January 08, 2011
J.S. asks from Auburn, WA
14 answers

Hi Mamas!
My daughter, Alyssa, had her four-year doc checkup yesterday. Poor thing got 6 shots total: Polio, Chickenpocks, MMR, DTAP (I think), IPV (??), and Flu Shot. Three shots in each thigh.

She immediately started limping, but I wasn't too surprised about that. By the time we got home she didn't want to walk at all, and I still wasn't too surprised. She got a nice warm bath, and some ibuprofin last night to help with her muscle soreness in her legs and for the fever she got from the shots.

But still today, she doesn't want to put any weight on her right leg. She said her left leg feels ok. Her right leg hurts just where the shots were, so it's not a widespread pain, but it is so bad that she is still avoiding putting weight on it.

I did a little online research last night and found numerous reports of people having long-lasting (weeks or months) muscle pain after having the flu shot (and Alyssa did have the flu shot in her right leg).

I have called into the doctor's office today, talked to the nurse once and she's going to call back again after talking to the doctor. Alyssa is generally no wimp - she's a pretty tough girl, so I believe it's causing her a lot of pain.
Just curious if any other mamas have experienced this with their toddlers?


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So What Happened?

Thanks for the words of support. Alyssa's leg is slowly slowly getting better, although she is still has a fever come and go. In hindsight I should not have let them give so many shots at one time. Now I know. The nurse asked me if I wanted them to split them up. I asked if Alyssa's reaction to them would be any different if we did (no fever, etc.) . The nurse said no, she would still most likely get a fever from two of them. So I thought I was saving Alyssa the trauma of having to come back for more shots in a month by letting them do all at once. Making the right decisions for your child is one of the toughest things.

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answers from Seattle on

Read dr sears vaccine book and consider spacing them out more (no more than two shots per visit) please! Reactions are real and can be worse than leg pain. Soreness I've heard is common try warm baths, ibuprofen, and ice. And ask the doctor! This years flu shot is particularly bad, most people I know didn't get it for themselves or their children.

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answers from Erie on

If your daughter is having a serious reaction to a vaccine, by having so many at once you will never know which one is the real culprit. Please consider spacing them out more in the future, that is an awful lot of shots for one visit. I hope she's feeling better soon.

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answers from Chicago on

At my daughter's 5 yr check up a month or 2 ago, she had 4 shots...2 in each leg. She also had the flu shot, but I cannot remember which leg she had it in. She was sore the next day and maybe a day after. She was having trouble walking as well. But it wasn't for more than 2 days. Give her another day and see how it goes, hopefully the pain will subside!

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answers from Boston on

Tetanus hurts like the dickens. And I agree with the poster below, sometimes they "nick" just the spot. Keep giving her motrin every six hours. Try to relax - the odds that the pain will last more than a few days is extremely slim.

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answers from Modesto on

Sometimes the bruising is sore for a couple of days. My guess is she'll be fine my MOnday.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi Jessie! That really stinks, poor thing. I can only offer personal experience, but when I got my flu shot two years ago, my arm was sore for 2 weeks. I haven't had that happen before or since, but it was awful. If that had been my leg, no way would I have been walking on it! I don't understand why some shots cause more muscle soreness than others, but for me it was the flu shot that did it too, just like your daughter (well maybe, I guess it could've been another shot in her right leg).

Sorry I don't have any great advice, maybe an ice-pack on the injection site? And if she still isn't walking on it tomorrow, call the Dr if your gut tells you to. I'm sure it's just sore, but if you think it's gone on too long, just give them a call to check.

Best wishes to you and Alyssa!

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answers from New York on

I personally had a flu shot last year in the muscle of my arm. I could barley move it for a week and I felt the pain for over two weeks, and I have a huge threshold for pain. It's probably the flu shot. I hope it eases up for your daughter soon, keep us posted.

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answers from Raleigh on

I know her pain! And I know this isn't the same thing but after I had my daughter I had 4 shots at one time...Depo, Flu, Pertussis, and Hepatitis...I think their might be one more??? Anyway my arms were sooo sore! I think that is normal considering how many she had. Maybe some motrin and a warm bubble bath with Epsom salt will help her a little bit....I know it helps me! Good luck and I hope she starts feeling better soon!!! : )

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answers from New York on

For the future: Please, you should never allow a doctor to give no more then 2 vaccines at once. It is harmful for any child.

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answers from Eugene on

Who is the idiot you have for a doctor who shot her with so many vaccines all at once. Call the ask the nurse line at a hospital near you and get some information. Polio shots can give you polio IF it was live vaccine. The shot in her right leg went into a nerve. That was a very poor job done by a person who is medically incompetent.

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answers from New York on

It could also be the DTAP the tetanus can really make you sore. I would try cold compresses and also give Motrin for any discomfort. Follow up with the doc to put your mind at ease.

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answers from Houston on

Oh gosh, my mom had a morphine shot and she couldn't use her arm for almost a month! Sometimes the needle hits a nerve or deep tissue and can cause deep bruising.

The tetanus shot can really make one sore though b/c the solution is chilled, that could be it.

Our Dr tells us to apply a cool wet washcloth (or cool compress) and give her some ibuprofen or tylenol.

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answers from Portland on

Is she putting more and more weight on it? My son isn't a wimp either but occasionally he gets sore when he gets his shots. Last visit ( 2.5) He wouldn't walk on his leg for hours..the next day he favored that same leg..by the end of the day he was running around.
I would give her some pain relief and let her know it may be sore. Hope she feels better.



answers from Honolulu on

Well my arm hurt after getting my Flu shot.

Maybe, the nurse got the shot in the deep tissue.... and thus it hurts more... deep tissue shots, always hurts more.

"Arnica Gel", which is all natural... helps with muscle pain and bruises. Good stuff. Places like Whole Foods has it and any natural food stores. I always have that in my cabinet.

But yes, its good you called the Doctor, to notify them.

BUT.. also when getting shots, the Pediatrician is supposed to give you an information fact sheet, on each vaccination.... and it tells you all about it and any side effects etc. Did you get this????

And, some nurses, when giving the shots.... puts each injection right near to each other.... so, that to me, exacerbates any muscle soreness... and soreness after the fact.