Yes, aches known as “growing pains” are real—children ages 2 to 12 often complain of an ache or throb in the thighs, calves or behind the knees. However, the term “growing pains” is misleading, since there’s no proof that growing hurts. In fact, many doctors believe that growing pains are muscle aches caused by activities such as running, jumping or climbing. Some children may also complain of a stomachache or headache when these pains strike.
To relieve your child’s pain, try stretching or rubbing your child’s legs, using a heating pad or offering your child a pain reliever. Avoid giving your child aspirin, as it’s been linked with a dangerous condition in children known as Reye’s syndrome.