Posts for tag: Pediatric Podiatry
During the school year, your children maintain their normal school routine with frequent activities and are constantly on the go. In order to maintain their busy schedules, it is vital that their feet are protected against the aches and pains of non-stop daily activities. From infants and toddlers to high school kids, the need for continual foot relief is constant. Pain in your child’s foot or ankle is never normal, as there is no such thing as "growing pains." Your podiatrist should evaluate any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, as soon as possible.
Infants and Toddlers
Whether your infant or toddler is in school or daycare, their feet need extra protection early on to promote healthy feet later on in their lives. The size and shape of your baby’s feet change dramatically during their first year. Too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet as a baby’s feet are flexible. When choosing shoes for your baby make sure their shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes as this can cause damage to their precious toes.
As your infant continues to grow, it is important not to force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready to. Once your toddler does begin to walk, watch your toddler’s gait – the way in which they walk. Many toddlers may have a pigeon-toed gait, which is normal, while some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Most children will outgrow both of these problems, but other conditions detected early can be treated more easily.
Proper Shoes for Your Children
Before you head to the store to buy your kids shoes, follow some simple guidelines provided by your podiatrist to prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn out shoes. Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when purchasing new shoes. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy shoes that are too big, as oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. A well-fitting shoe has about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe. If your child’s shoes are too tight, they can cause blisters, corns, calluses, or ingrown nails that become can become infected.
Shoes will lose their shock absorption over time, so it is important to inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support. If your child’s shoes exhibit wear and tear around the edges of the sole, replace them with new shoes that have adequate support. When buying new shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole. Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and even ankle sprains – be sure to replace then as soon as possible.
Remember to check your child’s shoe size often, as they will continually change shoe sizes as they grow. With your podiatrist’s care, the risk of bone problems can be reduced. Contact your podiatrist today if your child is experiencing any pain in their feet due to injury or abnormal growth.
A parent should never ignore their child’s complaints about pain in their feet. We never want our children to be in pain, and it is especially important to protect their feet to allow them to remain active. But your child should never play through the pain, as it can lead to difficulty in walking that can require complicated therapy. Your podiatrist is available to help diagnose your child’s foot troubles, while also providing the best care possible to get them on their feet and running around again.
Heel pain is a common childhood complaint, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored, or that you should wait to see if the pain will go away. Heel pain is a symptom, not a disease. In other words, heel pain is a warning sign that a child has a condition that needs attention.
Your child may not know to or be able to articulate to you that they are in pain. Keep in mind that heel pain in children is often associated with these signs and symptoms:
- Walking on toes
- Difficulty participating in usual activities or sports
Treatment from your child’s podiatrist will depend on the diagnosis and the severity of the pain. For mild heel pain, treatment options might include a reduction in activity and cushioning the heel with temporary shoe inserts. For moderate heel pain, in addition to reducing activity and cushioning the heel, your podiatrist might use medications, physical therapy, and orthotic devices. If your child has severe heel pain, immobilization, follow-up measures or surgery might be needed.
Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist if your child is experiencing heel pain of any kind. The cause of the pain isn't likely to disappear on its own, and waiting has the potential of making a small problem into a big one.
Children take to sports like fish to water. Almost as soon as they begin to walk, they are chasing balls, swinging sticks and running races against siblings, friends or nobody in particular! From baseball, basketball and football to soccer, wrestling, tennis, hockey and lacrosse--children play all sorts of things that are hard on thier growing bodies. Even individual sports, such as swimming, skating, track, and gymnastics, can significantly affect your child's body.
Millions of children participate in team and individual sports, many of them outside of the school system where advice on conditioning and equipment is not always available. Your podiatrist is available to provide tips for protecting your children while they remain active in sports this season.
What to Watch Out For
Parents should be concerned about their child’s involvement in sports that require a substantial amount of running and turning, or involve contact. Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to prevent sprains or fractures. Parents should also consider discussing these matters with their family podiatrist if they have children participating in any active sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children actively participate.
Ensure that your child has the correct shoes for the sport they play. Perhaps even more importantly, make sure those shoes fit! Their feet grow quickly, and shoes that fit last season aren't likely to still fit when next year comes around.
Contact your podiatrist for more information on proper footwear and foot care for your child. Whether they are actively participating in sports, or simply walking to school, it is important to take extra precautions to protect your child’s feet well into adulthood.
Normally, most people will walk with their toes and feet pointing straight ahead. However, sometimes children’s feet turn when they walk, which can be called intoeing or being pigeon-toed. Your child may walk with their feet pointing in, but most cases can be corrected on their own as the child grows up, which most adults don't deal with intoeing.
Your podiatrist is available to properly diagnose your child’s feet and provide proper treatment plans when needed. There are three common causes of intoeing:
- Tibial torsion – the shinbone is the most commonly twisted bone. This twist can be caused by the way the baby lay in the womb while the bones are still soft.
- Femoral anteversion – the thighbone can also be twisted inwards, but is usually corrected over time, slowly.
- Metatarsus adductus – the feet are curved inwards and typically get better without treatment, but for some children who have very curved feet, some bracing may help in the first couple of years of life.
According to your podiatrist, children who have intoeing tend to trip a little more at first, but will be fine later on. Children with intoeing will also be just as good at sports and are no more likely to get arthritis or back problems than anyone else.
Intoeing should not get worse and your child should be able to participate in all types of physical activities. If you think your child’s intoeing is getting worse, visit your podiatrist. It is important to remember:
- Most children do not require treatment and self-correct over time.
- Special shoes and braces are not usually needed and are only recommended in rare cases.
- Orthotics have no role in the correction of intoeing.
Visit your podiatrist for more information on intoeing and the best measures to take to protect your child from further complications.