Restless legs syndrome is one of the most undiagnosed diseases in children! It is a movement disorder causing an uncomfortable and irresistible urge to move ones legs.
This urge usually happens at bedtime or when lying down, but can occur at other times when the legs have been inactive. To relieve the discomfort, the child moves and stretches the legs, tosses and turns, or gets up and walks or runs around. The relief experienced is usually immediate.
The cause is unknown, but low Iron, diabetes and neurological diseases needs to be excluded. The associated daytime sleepiness due to lack of sleep may cause irritability, hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating.
Treatment options are: cutting caffeine, unnecessary medication and other herbal products and doing a trial of iron, magnesium and folic acid supplements. If the symptoms are severe, sleep studies can be done and anti-convulsants might be prescribed. Elevate the feet on a pillow, heat a beanbag before bedtime and spend some time massaging the little feet to enhance relaxation.