Shaken Baby Syndrome

A large number of child deaths are reported in South Africa each year. A lot of deaths relate to neglect, abuse or murder. Despite this, there's a knowledge gap in relation to understanding the issue....

Amniotic fluid problems

The importance of amniotic fluid Amniotic fluid is essential for pregnancy and foetal development. Amniotic fluid is a watery substances residing inside a casing called the amniotic membrane or sac. ...

Choosing a pre-school

Becoming a parent is a momentous; life-changing event filled with hopes, expectations and naturally some fears. Parents often learn and grow alongside their children, as they face the challenges of pa...

Newborn reflexes

Although newborn babies are physically helpless and vulnerable at birth, they have a number of amazing innate abilities or reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary movements or actions, designed to protect ...

Mastitis

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast that can lead to infection. The word “mastitis” is derived from the Greek word “mastos” meaning “breasts”, while the suffix “-itis” denotes “inflammation”. Ma...

Pelvic floor exercises

Although your new baby will probably bring you immense emotional satisfaction, physically you may feel uncomfortable and strange in your own skin. After 9 months of pregnancy and hormonal changes, you...

Colic

Babies cry because they need to communicate something and most parents, especially new moms, find it distressing to see or hear an unhappy baby. In time, you will learn to recognize the various causes...

Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes are informative sessions provided to prepare expecting parents for the birth of their child and the early days of being a parent.Most antenatal classes are run by Midwives and occasi...

Strap-in-the-Future

The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 was launched on the 11 May 2011. It is a global declaration of war against road crashes and fatalities. According to Mr Sibusiso Ndebele, MP Minister of ...

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

    Tuesday, 21 July 2015 16:28
  • Amniotic fluid problems

    Thursday, 14 May 2015 12:54
  • Choosing a pre-school

    Friday, 10 April 2015 17:50
  • Newborn reflexes

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:49
  • Mastitis

    Tuesday, 03 March 2015 15:41
  • Pelvic floor exercises

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:20
  • Colic

    Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:11
  • Antenatal Classes

    Monday, 03 June 2013 09:34
  • Strap-in-the-Future

    Thursday, 30 June 2011 13:52

Muscle Pain

Growing pains

Growing pains are common muscle aches that affect between 25-40% of children. They generally occur during 2 periods: in early childhood, among 3 to 5-year-olds and, more commonly, in middle childhood, in children between 8-12. The cause of these pains is unknown and there is no evidence that the growth of bones causes pain (Leary, 1990; Nemours, 1995-2010).

 

Growing pains always involve the muscles, rather than the joints. Children tend to report pain in the front of the thigh muscles, in the calves and behind the knees. Growing pains are most commonly experienced later in the day or in the evening but may be severe enough to wake your child. Growing pain muscles are not tender to the touch nor are they red, swollen or warm. The severity of the pain in any particular child may range from mild to severe (Nemours, 1995-2010; Wikipedia, 2010).

 

In contrast to children who are in pain because of a serious medical disease, children with growing pains tend to feel better when they are massaged, touched, held and cuddled. Their pain is experienced in both legs or on both sides of the body, it is not worsened by moving or walking around, and in general they appear to be completely well (Leary, 1990; Nemours, 1995-2010).

 

Doctors diagnose growing pains by utilising a method of exclusion, i.e. they rule out any other illness or underlying problem before making a diagnosis. This is usually accomplished by taking a thorough medical history and physically examining your child (Leary, 1990; Nemours, 1995-2010).

 

Growing pains can be alleviated by the use of stretching, heating pads placed on the affected area, hot water soaks and gentle massage (Leary, 1990).

 

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps occur when muscle contracts strongly and cannot relax, producing a sudden, severe pain, that rarely lasts for more than a few minutes (Collins, 2003).

 

Muscle cramps can be triggered by:

·                Strenuous exercise, especially if your child failed to stretch his muscles before participating or due to the loss of sodium in the body through sweating.

·         Sitting or lying in an awkward position for an extended period of time.

·         Repeating the same movement continuously.

·         Swimming too soon after eating a meal (Collins, 2003; Leary, 1990).

 

If your child develops a muscle cramp, hold the affected area in your hands and massage it gently. Assist your child in stretching the tightened muscle to relieve the spasm. Cramping can be a frightening experience for a child; reassure him that muscle cramps are common, the pain is only temporary and it is not serious. Any residual pain can be treated with a heating pad or soaking in a warm bath. As a preventative measure, ensure that your child drinks plenty of fluids while exercising, particularly in hot weather (Collins, 2003).

 

If muscle cramps continue and there does not appear to be any discernible cause, consult your doctor to check that there is no underlying disorder (Collins, 2003).