Approximately 40 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 12 experience growing pains. Often in the legs, growing pains are somewhat persistent pain or discomfort that have no other cause. While growing pains may not be directly caused by actual growth, the term has been used for generations, and so it stands. Many children only experience mild, occasional growing pains. Others experience frequent bouts of the pains, which often occur at night. These can be so severe that they wake the child up. While many pediatricians might suggest giving a children's pain reliever when the pain starts, that doesn't stop them from happening in the first place. For children with persistent, severe growing pains, an orthopedic memory foam mattress can help.
Growing pains most often occur after physically active days, and often involve the joints, most especially the knees. Memory foam mattresses help relieve growing pains by relieving pressure on the joints. Of course, many parents purchase firm mattresses, especially for young children. This is usually done with the intent of safety and also cost. But, just like adults, children need mattresses that are orthopedically healthy as well.
Because of the open cell structure of foam, mattresses that feature a lot of memory foam transfer energy well. Foam also has the ability to squish and support at the same time. This is why memory foam is popular in medical institutions such as hospitals and nursing homes. People can lie or sit on foam cushions or bedding for extended periods of time without getting bedsores because the foam does not push against the body like traditional innerspring mattresses do. Children with growing pains benefit similarly from these kinds of mattresses.
In addition to having the child sleep on an orthopedic mattress, keeping the affected limbs warm during sleep is often commonly used to reduce growing pain symptoms. This can be done by first warming up the bed, then having the child sleep down inside a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag will retain the heat for hours, thus keeping the limbs and muscles warm and reducing the chance of a bout of growing pains. Using an herb and flax filled fabric bag that has been warmed in the microwave then placed down inside the sleeping bag is a great way to warm the bed up. Unlike heating pads and bed warmers, these bags cool down. The added benefit of aromatherapy from the warm herbs will also help soothe the child, causing a deeper, more restful sleep.
Memory foam and orthopedic mattresses do usually come in sizes ranging all the way from twin mattress up to king mattress. They are also available in many price ranges, making it easy for parents to replace less orthopedically friendly mattresses with memory foam or other doctor preferred mattresses. The combination of an orthopedic mattress and warming up the bed can help stop growing pains from starting.