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What's the best way to treat children with muscle pain?

Kids are super active, so the odd scrape and sprain is an inevitable part of growing up. We often get asked about the best ways to treat muscle pain in children, so we thought we’d round up our top tips for treating children with muscle aches and pains. 

R.I.C.E

This is a pretty famous acronym which you will have heard of if you’ve done a First Aid Course recently. This is the recommended treatment for adults, but it works just as well on children too.

- Rest
- Ice
- Compression 
- Elevation 

Rest

As soon as the injury occurs, rest the muscle for at least 24 hours. Try to get your child to relax on the couch and let the muscle rest. It’s a great excuse for a lazy day with their favourite movies and some snacks.

Ice

Put ice packs on the sore or swollen area for a minimum of 30 minutes. Try to do this every 4 hours for two or three days. This can be tricky with smaller children but persevere as it does make a massive difference to the recovery of the muscle. Don’t use ice alone as it can stick to the skin or cause frost bite, so make sure you wrap the ice block / frozen peas in a cloth first.

Compression

Apply pressure to the injured muscle if you can. Using a compression bandage or stretchy support is a slightly easier method when dealing with a wriggly child.

Elevation 

Try to elevate the swollen or sore area above the heart, this will help reduce the swelling and recovery time. Again, try and encourage your child to lay on the sofa and indulge in some movies whilst you prop up the sore spot. When it’s bedtime, try propping their injured area up with pillows in their bed so it remains supported while they sleep.

Medication

If your child is in serious pain, we recommend checking with your local Pharmacist or GP before resorting to oral medication. You can also investigate using pain relief cream which may help ease the symptoms and give instant relief to your little one. We recommend using a topical pain relief once the swelling subsides. 

Massage

If your child is suffering with long-term muscle pain rather than an injury, try to gently massage the area to relax and soothe the muscles. Go at their pace and just aim to gently smooth the muscles if they’re tight and sore. This is not recommended for sprains or newly injured areas. We recommend using the Better Nature Pain Relief Cream (regular) and Pain Relief Sports Gel (cooling) for massaging the affected area. 

Bath

A hot bath will help soothe aching muscles and relax your child too. It’s a great thing to do before bedtime to ease them off to sleep. Try adding some Epsom salts or lavender oil to reduce swelling and make your child nice and sleepy.

If your child is in a lot of pain or you’re unsure if they’ve done something more serious, always go and see your GP for advice. Always read the label. 

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