Restless Leg Syndrome in Children

What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless Leg Syndrome also known as RLS is a neurological disorder in which a person feels a strong urge to move their legs which does not go away until they comply. It is experienced mostly during the time a person is sleeping, however it can also be experienced during routine physical activity while awake.

Restless Leg Syndrome in Children

While mostly adults are known to experience this disorder, children do sometimes develop it. According tothe National Institutes of Health, almost one million school-age children suffer from this disorder. It is often mistaken for grown pains; however it can lead to more serious developmental issues and must be diagnosed and treated properly.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome in Children

Causes of this can be attributed to a number of reasons, the most likely of which is deficiency in the key nutrients required by the body. Following are some of the most common factors which cause RLS in children:

  • Genetics: According to research, RLS is in many cases transmitted genetically down the family tree.
  • Iron Deficiency: Children who have inadequate supply of iron often develop RLS at an early age.
  • Cramped Sleeping Conditions: Cramped or uncomfortable sleeping conditions often cause a child to develop RLS.
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): This disorder is very common in young children and can often lead to Restless Leg Syndrome as a side effect.

How to Detect RLS in Children?

There are various signs and symptoms which can tell you if your child is suffering from RLS. Following are some of the most common signs and symptoms found in children suffering from RLS:

  • Constant discomforting feeling in the legs.
  • Disruption is sleep during the night.
  • Lethargic behavior during the day caused due to insufficient amount of sleep.
  • Sleepiness during the day.
  • Behavioral problems such as sudden anti-social tendencies.
  • Irritability and Moodiness.
  • Sudden hyperactivity to compensate for the lack of sleep.
  • Hesitancy to fall asleep at night.
  • Disruptive behavior during school and sudden decline in academic performance.

In order to ensure your child’s well-being, it is extremely important to get immediate professional help if you witness your child struggling with any of these above mentioned signs and symptoms. Timely action can prevent long term challenges to your child’s developmental stages.

Can RLS be treated in Children?

Yes. Fortunately, it is easier to treat RLS in children as their immune systems are stronger and they respond better to even minor treatment methods and plans. Here are some of the ways RLS is treated in children:

  • Iron Supplements should be introduced in a child’s diet.
  • Massage therapy and the use of hot or cold packs can help reduce the severity of the problem for children.
  • Introducing vegetables and fruits packed with nutrients in their diet is always a good way to fight RLS.
  • A regular and healthy sleep pattern and routine is always something that helps significantly.
  • Healthy and comfortable sleeping conditions should be ensured.