Proper foot care is important for children of all ages, as foot problems that crop up later in life often stem from childhood issues. Proper foot care for children is the same as adults: keep the feet clean and dry, wear appropriate, well-fitting, and protective footwear designed for the activity or sport the child is participating in, and contact a podiatrist as soon as any foot pain or injury occurs. With children, it is also important to make sure shoes sizes are checked frequently due to foot growth, as shoes that are too small can lead to foot and toe problems.
If you notice something with your infant’s feet, say something. Most of the conditions that you see on baby feet are easily dealt with without using a procedure. Sometimes, we won’t address an issue until your baby has grown.
Shoes on Infants
It may not be the best idea to put shoes (booties and socks are fine) on your infant before they is able to walk on her own. There are a lot of nerves in the feet that are responsible for balance. When a shoe is covering the foot, the baby is unable to get the “feel of their feet” for balance.
Resist the temptation to put shoes on your baby until he is walking on his own. It makes a big difference in the development of your child.
Is Your Child Walking Right?
Once your child is walking, you may notice some things that don’t seem right to you. It might be as simple at tripping or falling which parents just assume that their child may be "clumbsy." This a a perfect time to schedule an evaluation.
CHILDREN'S FOOT PROBLEMS
Flat feet refers to a condition where your child’s arches flatten excessively. Normally a toddler's feet appear flat foot until age 2. That’s because a child that age has a very thick fat pad on the bottom of the foot. The arch doesn’t fully develop until around age 6. However, if your child’s ankles roll in, that’s a sign of a mechanical instability. Flat feet do not function correctly and place added strain on muscles and ligaments. Typically, the child complains of sore and tired feet and/or legs. Flat feet can also be a causative factor in ankle, knee, hip or back pain. This can cause other problems later in life. Children typically respond well to treatment; proper shoes, rest, ice and orthotics.
Some kids start when they start walking don’t put their heels on the ground. Most of the time it's a sensory. They just don’t like how it feels. However, there are other less common causes like: having a shortened heel cord, vision issues or even neurological concerns. Whatever the cause, it should be addressed to prevent other issues during development
In-Toeing or Pigeon Toed
Your child may walk with the toes facing inward. Tripping is a common sign when they run. This occurs when the leg bones don’t completely rotate during development. In this instance, we us insoles called gait plates to help promote the legs to rotate.
Ingrown toenails occurs when the side of the toenail embeds in the surrounding skin. They are associated with pain and sometimes infection. Potential causes include: poorly fitting shoes, genetics or biting the toenail. While in many cases, a small procedure needs to be performed to remove the nail, we also offer many alternative techniques could prevent the need for surgery.
Plantar warts are viruses that live on the surface of your skin. They can be very stubborn to treat. We offer many treatment options, from topical creams, blistering chemicals, and laser. Surgical removal is sometimes an option for more stubborn lesions.
Also known as Calcaneal Apophysitis is an inflammation in the growth plate at the back of the heel caused by the pull from the Achilles Tendon. It usually affects children usually between the ages of 8-14 years old. Children usually complain of pain in the back of the heel while participating in sports and in some cases stops them from playing. It is normally assessed with stretching, anti-inflammatories, ice and orthotics.