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Question
My 2 year old son has been complaining of his legs hurting but only after he has been sleeping. The pains will even wake him from a dead sleep and then he screams for hours and we cant get him to calm down. The only way we have found to get him to calm down is to rub his legs till he falls back asleep but then he is so restless and can't get comfortable. I am very worried about him what should I do? What could possibly be wrong with his legs? He is a normal healthy boy and has never had any major medical problems ever I am worried.

Answer
Hi, Holly,

Night-time leg pains are seldom serious in kids, as long as they meet certain criteria.  They should be specifically at night most of the time.  They should be both legs, on and off, and not one specific part of one leg all the time.  I think a lot of these pains are attempts for kids to get some added attention at night.  I would recommend seeing your doctor, having a good history and exam, and perhaps, depending on the mutual level of concern, do a blood count to rule out stuff inside the bones and perhaps explore the possibility of childhood restless legs syndrome.  A serum ferritin would also be done to help sort things out.  Most of the time we reassure and do nothing.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

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David Olson, MD

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I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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