Child Foot Care
For children, some foot conditions tend to be more common, while others are more rare. Some are the result of injuries due to activities and sports, yet others can be due to genetics. In any case, there is no such thing as normal pain for a child. If your child is complaining of pain in their foot or ankle that does not go away, it is very important to have your child’s pain evaluated by a podiatrist.
At our offices, your child will receive excellent care. We will work closely with you not only to determine the correct diagnosis, but a customized treatment plan that makes the best sense for your child’s condition.
As mentioned above, children can experience a wide variety of foot conditions and injuries. By better understanding what conditions are most common in children and the non-verbal cues that accompany them, you can more easily recognize when your child needs to be evaluated by a podiatrist.
Some of the more common conditions and injuries that affect children are:
- Ingrown toenails. These can be caused by tight-fitting shoes, improper cutting of the toenails, toe injuries, nail conditions, or genetics.
- Plantar warts. These usually develop because the child’s bare feet came in contact with the virus, or the virus entered the blood stream through a cut, crack, or other opening in the skin.
- Developmental conditions. If the child does not grow out of these conditions by early childhood, they can become other problems as they enter adolescence and adulthood. In most cases, these conditions can be managed with orthotics for children, which can be prefab or custom-made. Our podiatrists will help you determine which would be the best option for your child.
- In-toeing. Also known as pigeon toes, in-toeing is a condition where the feet point inward when walking.
- Out-toeing. The opposite of in-toeing, this is a condition where the feet point outward when walking.
- Toe walking. Often seen in young children as they are learning to walk, this is a condition where the child walks on their toes or the ball of their foot. If not outgrown in early childhood, the child should be seen by our podiatrists for evaluation.
- Sports injuries. Regardless of the sport and its benefits, any child involved in sports runs the risk of injury to their foot or ankle; the most common of which is an ankle sprain. Our podiatrists will treat your child’s injury and get them back to playing the sport they love.
Signs Your Child May Have A Foot Problem
Children with foot problems may not always know how to explain what they are experiencing. They often express it through non-verbal cues, so as a parent it is important that you watch for these in order to determine whether your child is experiencing foot pain or other foot conditions.
Some of these non-verbal cues include:
- Not wanting to show you their feet. Your child may be trying to conceal a visible foot condition, such as fungal toenails or athlete’s foot.
- Not wanting to participate in activities they usually enjoy. Foot or heel pain may be reason.
- Trips or falls often, especially when running. This can be an indicator of foot imbalance, or developmental or structural issues, which can often be managed through the use of orthotics.
- Cannot keep up with their peers, particularly when running. One reason for this could be flat feet, which can also be helped through the use of orthotics.
- Unusual gait patterns. Watch for your child’s feet pointing inward or pointing outward when walking. Also watch to see if they continue to walk on their toes after the first 2-3 months of walking. Orthotics can help with these conditions as well.
- Complaints of pain in the lower extremities. It is never normal for a child to have foot pain. Be sure to schedule an evaluation with one of our podiatrists if you ever suspect your child is experiencing pain in the foot, toes, ankle, or heel.
Even if you remotely suspect that your child is experiencing foot pain or other foot condition, it is best to err on the side of caution and have their feet examined before the problem progresses.
Schedule an appointment with your local office of the Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois, and our team of specialists will evaluate your child and determine the best treatment options for their condition. We have offices located in Joliet, Kenosha, Orland Park, Palatine, Schaumburg, and Waukegan, as well as two locations in Chicago.