A parent writes into the Mayo Clinic News Network to ask if their child might be experiencing restless legs syndrome.

Dear Mayo Clinic: My child moves around a lot at bedtime and has trouble falling asleep. She describes “bugs” on her legs. As someone who was diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, I am wondering if children can develop restless legs syndrome, too?

Answer: Yes, children can have restless legs syndrome. You also may hear it called Willis Ekbom disease, based on the names of the physicians who first described this condition.

Restless legs syndrome can occur in about 2% of school-age children.

It also can run in families. Children with symptoms may have a parent who has restless legs syndrome.

Similar to adults, restless legs syndrome can make it difficult for children to get a good night’s sleep. It does not lead to other health problems in children. Treatments are available that often can reduce or eliminate restless legs syndrome.

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