Children's Foot Care
Parents seek the best for their children. Whenever a problem arises, a quick and effective solution is sought.
It may be surprising sometimes if those problems arise with your child’s feet or ankles, however. We don’t tend to think of these kinds of troubles arising until we’ve put on a number of miles, but the truth is that children’s feet can experience many of the same problems that adult feet have.
In fact, in some cases, children may exhibit conditions that are unique to youth! Whatever may be happening, however, as a parent you can be assured of two things:
- Children’s foot conditions are common.
- Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois is here to help!
Watching Your Child’s Feet Develop
Our feet don’t have much of a job as soon as we are born, and remain somewhat undeveloped until we start learning to walk. During this period, we tend to develop our arches as well as our motor skills that eventually make walking a breeze.
At this time, you might see some developmental conditions. These can include:
– Missing arches, or arches that disappear when standing, only to reappear when sitting.
– Walking with toes pointed inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing).
– Spending an unusual amount of time standing on one’s toes or the balls of the feet while walking.
It is relatively common to see these conditions as your child is learning to walk, and in most cases, they will resolve on their own as your child’s physical development continues and walking skills improve.
However, while these conditions are not something to be afraid to see, they should also not be ignored. In some cases, these conditions can be sign of an underlying problem that should be addressed as soon as identified. If your child’s flat feet are not developing permanent arches, for example, we may need to keep an eye on them to make sure no intervening measures should be taken to prevent pain or problems in the future.
If you see any abnormalities in your child’s walking or feet, please do not hesitate to let us know. Routine monitoring can help ensure your child’s development stays on track.
Other Common Children’s Foot Care Problems
Aside from developmental conditions, there are plenty of everyday problems and injuries that can arise. Some can even be a bit more common in children than adults.
Here are a few conditions to keep an eye out for:
– Ingrown toenails. Children tend to develop ingrown toenails more often than adults due to the rate at which their feet grow—sometimes getting too big for their shoes. When toes are crammed together in small spaces, the chances of an ingrown nail increase. Injuries and genetics can also have an influence on this condition.
– Plantar warts. Children tend to have weaker immunity to plantar warts, making this unsightly (but often harmless) condition more likely to show up at younger ages.
– Sever’s disease. This is a common cause of heel pain in active children between the ages of 8 and 14. As the heel bone grows, it can become sensitive to repetitive use injuries and cause pain that interferes with activities. A treatment plan of rest and perhaps splints or bracing may be recommended.
– Sports injuries. Despite the benefits of physical activity, there is always the risk of injuries such as ankle sprains, stress fractures, or more. The ideal goal is to treat the injury effectively and safely enough to get a child back to action as soon as possible.
It is not always easy to see or know when a child might be having a problem. Sometimes they don’t know how to convey it to you, and other times they might be afraid to do so.
Look for signs of potential trouble such as a reluctance to show you their feet, favoring one foot or the other during activity, frequent trips and falls, a reluctance to participate in activities previously enjoyed, or limping. Signs like these are a good reason to look further into potential problems.
Parents and Podiatrists, Working Together
Even if you just have a suspicion that your child may be experiencing foot pain or other conditions, it is best to err on the side of caution and give us a call. We want all children’s feet to be their healthiest going into adulthood, whether that simply means a regular check-up or starting treatment for a problem.
Give us a call to let us know what’s going on and see if an appointment is what you and your child may need. We have offices in Chicago, Joliet, Orland Park, Palatine, Schaumburg, Waukegan, and Kenosha, all ready to serve your needs.