What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome in Children?

Pain and restlessness in the legs, inability to sleep at night and increase in complaints after long periods of inactivity… All these findings may indicate restless legs syndrome in children! We explained the symptoms and treatment of restless legs syndrome in children, let’s read it!

What is restless legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome is one of the most common sleep disorders. This discomfort, also called restless feet syndrome, is defined as the desire to move the legs, especially at night while asleep or at rest, and a difficult to describe, painful discomfort.

Do babies have restless legs syndrome?

The prevalence of restless legs syndrome in the community is 5.2%. In cases, the first symptoms usually appear before the age of 20. The symptoms of restless legs syndrome usually begin to appear in children before the age of 10.

What causes restless legs syndrome in children?

Because it is difficult to describe and diagnose, restless legs syndrome can be suspected as a psychological disorder. However, RLS is not a mental illness. The exact cause of this ailment is unknown.

  • Anemia due to iron deficiency
  • blood circulation disorder in the legs,
  • Hernia,
  • Damage to the leg nerves,
  • kidney diseases,
  • muscle diseases,
  • The incidence of RLS is high in some mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

If these diseases are not in question, the disease may be caused by genetic transmission. In other words, we can say that the probability of this disease is higher in children with a family history of restless legs syndrome. In this case, treatment becomes more difficult.

What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome in children?

  • Desire to move legs
  • Throwing or kicking the legs at intervals of 20-40 seconds,
  • Bending the big toes backwards,
  • Increase in leg movements during sleep
  • Numbness, stretching and tingling,
  • Increase in complaints when inactive for a long time,
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

The common discourse of those who suffer from restless legs syndrome is that there is an elusive feeling of discomfort in both legs. Sometimes, in addition to the legs, a similar movement request may occur in the arms and other parts of the body. These complaints, which occur especially in the first half of the night, can cause insomnia throughout the day, as they prevent children from sleeping well.

How is restless legs syndrome diagnosed in children?

Restless legs syndrome in children can be confused with hyperactivity or growing pain. There is no specific laboratory test for the diagnosis of the disease. If the physical symptoms we mentioned above are in question, if the symptoms are relieved by movements such as walking or stretching, and if there is no sign of another disease in the tests, the presence of restless legs syndrome is mentioned.

How is restless legs syndrome treated in children?

If restless legs syndrome is caused by a disease, the underlying cause will be cured when the underlying cause is treated. Most people with restless legs syndrome do not have an underlying disease or drug use. Low-dose domapinergic drugs are used in the treatment. Usually, symptoms are alleviated with some simple applications at home or with methods discovered by the patient himself.

What is good for restless legs syndrome in children?

  • Movement is the worst enemy of restless legs syndrome. Walking when your child’s discomfort is too much helps to stop the symptoms suddenly.
  • You can rub your child’s feet to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Applications such as hot bath, hot towel, ice application and leg massage during the day may be beneficial.
  • You should not drink caffeinated beverages to your child, as they can be harmful to health and trigger restless legs syndrome.
  • Exercising regularly can help relieve symptoms.
  • If the pain becomes unbearable, you can use a pain reliever recommended by your doctor.
  • Since the disease occurs especially at night, it may be useful to focus on games, puzzles and jigsaw puzzles that require intense mental activity in the evenings.
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