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Being a responsible parent is about providing unconditional love but also doing everything possible to ensure your child enjoys a healthy and safe life. Just as adults, there are times when children of all ages face physical challenges. Regarding how your child can avoid neck pain, while there are some things your child could do, in truth this would require your input as well.

We want to point out that if your child claims feeling pain in the neck region, it should be taken seriously. It would be far better to discover the problem were nothing more than a minor issue or even a cry for attention than something more serious. In addition, if your child were to experience pain for more than a few days or if pain were to worsen or radiate to other areas, we strongly recommend seeking medical attention.

Below we provided a few examples of common reasons and diseases known to cause neck pain in children but of course there are many others that might need to be considered.

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), also referred to as Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), affects children under the age of 16. There are actually seven unique types of JIA, each with varying symptoms to include pain in the neck region. Sadly, close to 300,000 children within the United States alone live with arthritis according to the latest statistics.

Muscle Strain
Strained neck muscles occur from poor posture, heavy lifting, and even physical activity. Something as simple as your child carrying a heavy backpack could be enough to cause muscle strain and associated pain. Obviously, choosing a backpack of a different style or reducing the load would resolve the problem. Poor posture while standing, walking or sitting, especially for long periods at a computer, could also produce neck pain, something easy to correct with a little education.

Strep Throat
This common disease is caused by bacteria known as Group A Streptococci. Even when minor it produces an extremely sore throat, and usually, fever, headache, stomach-ache, and neck pain. With antibiotics to kill the bacteria, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, diet of soft foods, a lot of fluids, and of course, plenty of love, your child should recover quickly.

If your child still has tonsils, an infection could affect one or both tonsils causing Tonsillitis. With this, your child would run a fever, have enlarged tonsils, and develop whitish or yellowish pus at the back of the throat. Once properly diagnosed, a doctor would probably prescribe antibiotics although in severe cases, the tonsil(s) would need to be surgically removed.

Additional Risks
Other causes of neck pain seen in children include the following:

  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Meningitis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Rimabotulinumtoxin B (Anti-spasmodic Medication)

Preventing Potential Risk
Even as a responsible parent, there is no way to have control of every situation or illness your child might face. However, there are some things that both you and your child could do to prevent or at minimum reduce potential risks. As stated, using the right type of backpack, maintaining good posture, and participating in age-appropriate sports or physical activities is a great start.

There are instances in which prevention or reduction of neck pain is possible. For instance, making healthy lifestyle choices would be essential to include eating well-balanced meals, drinking plenty of water, getting daily exercise, and avoiding anything harmful such as drugs and alcohol to boost the body’s immune system needed to fight off infection. In addition, it would be imperative for your child to warm-up and stretch before and after participating in sports or any physical activity to avoid muscle strain.

For your as a parent, sometimes how your child can avoid neck pain comes down to you being the one making some tough calls. As an example, injuries in connection with a particular sport could indicate your child is not yet mature or coordinated enough to play. Even if your child loved the activity, you might need to stop participation and help your child find something different until ready. The bottom line – proper education, good lifestyle choices, and parental guidance are critical in keeping your child healthy and safe.

This is a guest post from Jack Woo who writes frequently about back pain treatment and prevention.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to avoid neck pain in children.

Image courtesy of This Year’s Love via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.