What are growing pains? Stacey Solomon begs fans for help with her son's sore legs

Sophie Hamilton

Parents up and down the country will relate to Stacey Solomon's latest Instagram Story post. The Loose Women panellist shared the message on Wednesday morning, revealing her middle child, seven-year-old son Leighton, is battling growing pains. Besides a sweet photo of her baby boy Rex, Stacey wrote: "Pickle is sleeping like a little frog. If any of you have advice for growing pains I'd love to hear it. My middle pickle really suffers with them and I feel a bit helpless atm. Love you all." Growing pains are a common complaint amongst children, who often wake at night with sore legs.

WATCH: Stacey Solomon chat to HELLO! above

The star's followers sent her their own tips on easing the familiar childhood pains. Stacey said: "Loads and loads of tips from you all RE: growing pains & lots of you saying your pickles are struggling too so I thought I'd share the most popular ones with you…"

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The advice ranged from gentle massages to covered hot water bottles and supportive shoes. Other tips included heat packs, children's calpol or ibuprofen and warm baths before bed. "Thank you so much for your messages," Stacey told her fans. "I'm going to give it all a go and let you know what works."

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What are growing pains?

The NHS says growing pains are very common in children, predominantly in the legs and usually stop by age 12. They are harmless although can be extremely painful and can come and go over months or years. Pain is normally an aching or throbbing in both legs - in the muscles, not the joints – and comes on at night, disappearing by the morning.

What causes growing pains?

According to the NHS, growing pains are not actually caused by growing. The pains can be hereditary and have no clear cause. The pains are common in children who are active and often appear after sports. They are more common in children with flexible joints.

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How to help growing pains

The NHS gives the same advice as Stacey's followers: gently massage the child's legs; use a covered hot water bottle or heat pack on the area; children's ibuprofen or paracetamol; a warm bath before bed; and try supportive shoes like trainers in the day.

When should I see a doctor with leg pain?

The NHS advises to see a doctor if your child to the doctor is the pain is only in one leg, if it continues the next morning or if it interferes with walking. The child also needs to see a GP if the pain is in a joint, there is a rash, swelling or bruising or if he or she has a high temperature or has a loss of appetite.