Pains During Growth in Children
What is Hypoglycaemia
Abdominal Pain in Children
Sprains and Strains in Adolescents
Pain Kids & Teens
Pains During Growth in Children
Growing pain is part and parcel of the growing phase in a child’s life. When the child stops growing so will the growing pain and when adolescence is reached, they disappear completely. Growing pain can occur between three to five years or eight to twelve years of age.
Growing pains are usually experienced in the legs usually in the calves, in the area in front of thighs and behind the knees. The pain starts either in the afternoon or night, just before bedtime. The child can go to bed pain free but can wake up in the middle of the night complaining of throbbing pain in the legs. But the good part is that these pains vanish by morning.
About twenty five to forty percent of the children are known to experience growing pain.
Growing pains are experienced in the muscle region and not around the bones or joints. One of the major reasons of getting growing pains is because of the strenuous activities of the kids during the day. All the jumping around, running and climbing make the muscles tired. But no evidence has been collected which can prove that the growing pain is caused by bone growth.
Growing pains are also known to be caused by spurt of growth. This happens because the tendons or the muscles are too tight and do not synchronize with the growing of the bones. As a results muscle spasms are caused which last for less than fifteen minutes. The child usually gets pain in both the legs and not just one.
And usually, growing pains do not get accompanied with redness, swelling or fever. The pain should be over by morning and if it is still persisting after the awakening of the kid, the problem could be related to something else and more serious.
If the pain is unbearable, the parent or caretaker should administer pain relieving medications which are available over the counter such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Aspirin should not be given to children as they have a tendency to develop a very serious illness known as Reye Syndrome.
Heating pads can be placed on the region that is hurting to ease the pain. Massage can also be given by the parent or the child can do stretching exercise to help the muscles relax. If the child develops fever, redness, swelling, tenderness, limitation in movement, or if the child limps while walking, the doctor should be approached. Before that the parent can do a little diagnosis of the intensity of the pain by feeling around the area and observing the pain experienced by the child.
The pain shouldn’t be so intense that the child is abstained from normal routine such as walking, running or playing.
The doctor conducts the diagnosis of exclusion to understand the problem. According to this diagnosis, it is not made until all the conditions are checked before considering growing pains. The doctor studies the child’s medical history and conducts a physical examination. In some serious cases, the doctor advices to go for X-ray or blood test before the final decision is made.
Children can prevent the growing pains by doing stretching exercises on a daily basis. The exercise need not be complex. Even if the pain subsides, the exercise should be continued so as to keep the tendons and muscles relaxed and to adjust with the growth spurt.
Fluids, when taken in good quantity, decrease the cramping.
For this reason, the child should be given tonic water or quinine before going to bed.
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Abdominal Pain in Children
Tummy aches are one of the most frequently complained about problems in children. There are many causes attributed with it, and it is a challenge for the parent or the physician to find out the exact problem.
Sometimes the pain requires immediate attention and can also be a case of emergency. The causes can be related to food, infections, poisoning, insect bites, etc.
Bacteria and viruses are responsible in case of abdominal pain due to infections. Gastroenteritis and stomach flu are some of the examples of infections that can cause stomach aches. Gastroenteritis is the inflammation and irritation of stomach and the gastrointestinal passage.
Extra care must be taken by travellers, as the food and drinks can be contaminated at new locations and can lead to traveller’s getting diarrhoea. Stomach pain due to viral infections ward off quickly, but bacterial infections demand the intake of antibiotics.
In both the cases, some children recover very fast by vomiting and excreting.
In case of diarrhoea, excess drinking fluids should be given to the kid to avoid dehydration.
Food related stomach aches can be caused because of food poisoning, gas production, excess food ingestion and food allergies. Problems because of food poisoning are temporary and can cause bloating.
Symptoms of food poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and nausea. Usually these symptoms surface within two days of consumption of contaminated food.
Depending on the severity chill, fever, bloody stools, or damage to the nervous system can follow. In case of a group of people who consumed the contaminated food, this situation is known as an outbreak.
Over two hundred diseases are known to be transmitted via food.
Food can be poisoned because of toxic agents or infective agents. Infective agents are parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Toxic agents are uncooked food, exotic foods, and poisonous mushrooms.
Food can get contaminated because of handling by unclean workers at the local restaurant, too. Parents should check out the cleanliness and should visit a trusted restaurant.
Particular foods can cause the irritation, such as dairy products can cause lactose intolerance. If this is the case, the child is allergic to certain food or drinks and swallowing even a small amount can cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, cramping, and skin rash. Since these items are harmless otherwise, such kind of allergic reactions are known as hypersensitivity reaction.
Sometimes the symptoms can be life threatening and are known as anaphylactic shock or anaphylaxis.
Poisoning can also be due to overdose of medicines and even due to eating non-food stuffs. Insect bites such as black widow spider bite can also lead to pain in the abdomen. It can be accompanied with muscle cramps, weakness, nausea, tremor, vomiting and in severe case it can cause dizziness, faintness, respiratory problems, and chest pain.
Also, the heart rate and blood pressure increases.
In very rare cases, abdominal pain can be due to appendicitis. This is a result of blockage and inflammation of tissues. Young kids have a higher rate if complications are considered and should be immediately rushed to the hospital. The pain starts slowly in the abdomen, specifically near the belly button. The pain shifts slowly to the right side of the lower abdomen within a time period of over twenty four hours. Clear symptoms are abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, fever and loss of appetite.
Diabetes can also be a reason of abdominal pain. Small children usually curl up, cry and express pain through facial expression. Some kids will be reluctant to talk, but the parent should try to get clear explanation of the problem.
Along with close monitoring of the symptoms, studying the location of pain, pain duration, nature of vomiting, and urinary problems will help. After that a paediatric should be consulted who can further refer to a gastroenterologist. Until help is reached, the child should be made to relax.
Often, lying with face in downward direction can relieve pain due to gas.
In case of vomiting and diarrhoea, fluids should be given constantly.
Solid food should only be given when the child is comfortable about eating it.
Sprains and Strains in Adolescents
Sprains and strains are among the majority of the injuries caused while playing sports. Sports injuries can be caused by small trauma which involves ligaments, muscles and tendons including bruises, sprains and strains. The body part which is most commonly involved in spraining or straining is the ankle.
The 3 ligaments that are involved during ankle sprain or strain include anterior talofibular ligament, posterior talofibular ligament and calcaneofibular ligament.
An injury caused to the soft tissue as a result of a direct force like fall, kick and blow is called a contusion or a bruise.
A sprain is nothing but a ligament injury which is wrenched or twisted. Sprains usually affect knees, wrists and ankles.
On the other hand a strain is an injury caused to a tendon or muscle which usually results from force, stretching and overuse.
Sprains/Strains are usually diagnosed by a physician after a physical examination. The physician asks for thorough medical history of the adolescent and asks various questions that lead to the cause of the injury. Various diagnostic procedures are also available which also helps in evaluating the problem. X-ray is one of the oldest and common diagnostic tests done to know the extent and exact location of the injury. An x-ray uses electromagnetic waves to get photos of internal tissues, organs and bones onto a film.
MRI scan is one of the recently evolved diagnostic procedures which also help in evaluating a physical injury. This procedure actually called Magnetic Resonance Imaging makes use of bug magnets, computer and radio frequencies to get detailed pictures of structures and organs inside the body.
Another diagnostic procedure called Computed Tomography Scan or CT scan is also used to evaluate the extent and location of injury. This procedure uses a blend of computers and x-rays to get cross sectional pictures in horizontal and vertical alignment. It shows thorough pictures of any part of the body like muscles, bones, fat and organs.
They provide more information than conventional x-rays.
There are various symptoms of strain and sprain depending on each teen’s physical condition and they may vary accordingly. One of the symptoms includes pain in and around the area injury. There could also be a swelling around the injured area.
Some teens also experience difficulty when they use or move the area of the body that is injured. Some teenagers also undergo bruises or redness in the area that is injured. Many times the symptoms of sprains and strains may look similar to other medical conditions and a doctor’s advice is the best option in this scenario.
Depending on various factors the treatment of sprains and strains will be prescribed by the teenager’s physician that include teenager’s age, overall health of the teenager, and medical history of the adolescent. To what extent the teen is injured is also a factor in determining the nature of treatment.
A teenager’s level of tolerance to certain medications, therapies and procedures is also taken into consideration before opting for a particular method of treatment. The treatment also depends of what expectations one has and also preference and opinion.
Various options available for treatment include things like restriction of the activity after the injury, application of cast/splint on the injured spot, crutches or wheelchair, physical therapy which involves stretching exercises to give strength to the muscles, tendons and ligaments that are injured and last but not the least is the surgery which is opted for in worst case scenario.
In the long-term scenario bruises, sprains and strains heal pretty quickly in kids and teenagers but it is important that the adolescent sticks to the restrictions imposed during the treatment and healing process like restriction of activity and regularly attending physical therapy sessions if any.
It is noted that majority of the sports related injuries results either due to traumatic injury or excessive use of muscles and joints.
But, they can be avoided and prevented
with right training,
by wearing right protective gears
and by using the right equipment for training.
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Help the Kids overcome the Aches and Pains from the following;
Appendicitis in Kids …. Abrasions, Cuts and Scratches
Corns, Calluses and Blisters in Children
Does My Child Have Migraines?
Frequent Headaches and Migraine
Children and Acid Reflux …. Child Hernia Surgery
Tennis Elbow in Adolescents …. Poison Ivy and Children
Motion Sickness in Children
Gain an understanding and knowledge to help the Kids to be able to offer some relief to their problems, plus with this information you can discuss and understand what your medical adviser may offer to help your youngsters.
The Team and I wish that this page has been of some help for you in your search for healthier and fitter you and/or your family!
Three steps you might follow:
First: To continue your search we recommend that you carry on to our next page concerning Kids and Teens Health Issues at >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/surviving-in-school
Second: Return to the Kids and Teens Health Issues Introduction Page to possibly choose a different subject about this disease >>
Third: Have a look at our main site to check out some of our other series concerning other health issues >>
The Team and I thank you for checking out this page and wish you and yours a long, healthier and productive life.
Lawrence S Mills