You put your kids in car safety seats, buy quality educational toys, make sure they eat fruits and vegetables, and even limit their screen time. But when it comes to foot care for children, you may not always know what to do. Which problems are cause for concern? How do you treat them? At Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center, we want to help you find answers to all your questions about your child’s feet.
My Kid Walks Funny…What Do I Do?
During the early years, your little one goes from lying and kicking to crawling and walking. The bones begin to harden and the arches gain their shape. This is also when you may notice some abnormalities in their steps. In-toeing and out-toeing—walking with their toes pointing towards each other or out away from each other—is quite common. Your child may also be toe walking at first. If it continues past age 2, come in to our office and we will see if there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. This could be anything from a tight Achilles tendon to a more serious nerve condition.
The Most Common Kids’ Foot Problems
There are a few specific problems that anyone involved in foot care for children will see quite often. Most are not serious conditions, but they require monitoring and simple treatments. Here some of the more common ones:
Because kids’ feet grow so rapidly, it is easy for their shoes to become too small and pinch the toes. Even with perfectly fitting shoes, kids may simply be prone to ingrown nails because of an inherited predisposition. When the toenails are pressured, they can curl on the edges and grow into the skin, causing redness and pain. To avoid accidental damage and infection, it is best to have one of our doctors take care of your child’s ingrown toenail.
Children are more prone to these instances of the human papilloma virus that cause plantar warts on the sole of the foot. The growths can be very painful to stand or walk on. We have treatments that will help get rid of them and let your child function without pain.
Almost all babies have flat feet when they are born, and some retain them into adulthood without having any symptoms. If the foot is stiff and rigid, however, it can become painful and limit your child’s ability to walk, run, and play. Let us find a way to relieve the symptoms—usually with simple, conservative treatments.
Called Sever’s disease, this condition often affects growing children who are active in sports. During growth spurts, the Achilles tendon can become too tight and pull against the heel bone where it is attached. This causes damage to the growth plate, which becomes inflamed and painful. Once your child is grown and the heel bone hardens, this will go away. In the meantime, we can show you some ways to relieve the pain and stretch out the Achilles.
Foot Care for Children Continues as They Grow
As your child grows older, you need to deal with issues like proper footwear and injuries that could occur. Shoes should always be roomy enough to allow the toes to move freely. Choosing the right shoes for your child’s sport could also make them less likely to sustain overuse injuries. Sprains and fractures can happen as your children become more active. Good footwear protects and supports the feet and provides stability.
For help with any pediatric foot problem, don’t hesitate to contact Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center. Call us at (303) 423-2520 or set up an appointment on our website. We are here to help your children’s feet function well without pain.
Photo Credit: Daniel St.Pierre via FreeDigitalPhotos.net