Is there a correlation between growing pains and parent-child bed-sharing?

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The objective of this study was to evaluate a possible correlation between parent-child bed-sharing and growing pains.


A questionnaire inquiring about bed-sharing habits of children and parents and the location, duration, intensity, and treatment of the child’s growing pain was completed by a consecutive series of families whose child (ages 3-10 yr) presented for evaluation of pain ultimately diagnosed as growing pains. A consecutive series of children (ages 3-10 yr) with a distal radial buckle fracture served as the control group.


Twenty-two of 44 (50%) families in the growing pain group answered “yes” to the bed-sharing question. Only 16 of 54 (29%) in the control group answered “yes.” Bed-sharing rates were significantly different between groups (P = 0.048). However, the mean age between the groups was also significantly different (growing pains group = 6.9 yr, control group = 5.5 yr, P = 0.002). To control for age, all patients over 7 yr from both groups were eliminated for analysis. Results revealed that the mean age was similar (P = 0.15) in both groups, but the rate of bed-sharing was no longer significantly different (growing pains group [50%], control group group [38%], P = 0.123).


Despite finding that the rate of parent-child bed-sharing was 50% in our growing pains population, when we controlled for age, there was no difference from our control. Parent-child bed-sharing does not seem to be a significant component of growing pains. Bed-sharing could be a possible mechanism to manage a child’s growing pains.

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