The pains and ailments of a growing child are plenty and cause endless worries for the parents. Strange muscle pains which occur at night just before sleeping followed by soreness are muscle cramps which the child is unable to describe. What causes muscle cramps in children is not exactly unique or foreboding but definitely important enough to be attended to.
1. Growing-Up: if the pain is specifically in some parts of the legs- calves, behind knees or front of the thighs, it is safe to categorize this as a growing-up pain. It means nothing more than a muscle cramp which may occur in both legs of the child. The pain usually lasts up to fifteen minutes and is gone by the morning. It is important to note that the muscles are affected by growing pains, not joints or bones. Theories suggest that the spurts of bone growth may also cause pain the limbs. Muscles and tendons growing at a different rate from the bones are tight. The resulting imbalance in the growth rate may result in muscle cramps in children.
2. Deficiencies: careless food habits and negligence can lead to many dietary deficiencies in your child’s body. Most of these will have effects which are obvious and common. Besides, there are many drinks and supplements available for those that cause lack of growth or loss of interest or appetite. Muscle cramps are those obscure indicators which most parents tend to ignore. Deficiency of mineral nutrients like magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium trigger muscle cramps in the human body. If the cramps are regular with long lasting pains, then diet regulation may be required. Food rich in these items should be increased in the diet after a consult with your child’s physician. It is essential to maintain the recommended levels of these in the body because an excess of these may also cause troubles.
3. Dehydration – decrease in level of water content of the body may also cause spasms. With their abundant energy which is used mainly for sporting activities under the sun, children are most prone to ignore their body’s need for water. What causes muscles cramps is not the loss water alone but also of electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential for our body’s protective mechanism and with the deficiency in these, chances of a contracted muscle are heightened.