Caring for the health of your child’s feet should be just as high on the priority list as regular immunizations and routine checkups. Foot deformities, juvenile bunions, and other abnormalities can create lasting effects. Here are a few things you should know about your child’s feet:
Remember That Children’s Feet Change as They Age
As children grow, their foot size can change every few months. Pay attention to this growth and replace socks and shoes accordingly. Though it may be tempting, never give children handed down shoes to replace the ones their feet have outgrown. This can spread fungi and is detrimental to healthy foot growth.
Don’t Ignore or Downplay Children’s Complaints of Foot Pain
Persistent foot pain can be a sign that your child’s arch is not developing properly, causing flat feet. It can also indicate several potential complications in the heel if pain is centered there. These conditions include Sever’s disease, fractures, bone tumors, bone infections, and other serious problems. A podiatrist can help you analyze the foot, the child’s walk, and his or her description of the pain to assess the problem and begin appropriate treatment.
Children’s Shoes Should Pass the 1-2-3 Test
The American Podiatric Association recommends that parents look for three important components when considering new shoes for their kids. The number one component in this test is a shoe with a stiff heel. Heels should be firm and not collapse upon impact with the ground. Secondly, look for a shoe that flexes but doesn’t bend too much in the toe box area. The final consideration is a shoe with a firm middle that won’t twist.
Since the health of your child’s feet can have a huge impact on the development of his or her ankles, legs, and back, it’s important to properly care for them. At Austin Podiatry, our specialists understand this and have helped thousands of children improve the condition of their feet.
The Basics of Pediatric Foot Care
When it comes to a child, an ounce of prevention is surely worth a pound of cure. If you want to keep your children healthy and happy—and avoid unnecessary visits to the doctor—be sure to follow these fundamental rules of pediatric foot care:
Make sure your child’s shoes are comfortable and supportive. Wearing the right kind of shoe is very important to foot health. Make sure your child wears shoes that are flexible and comfortable. Unless your child’s podiatrist recommends it, don’t buy your child shoes with heel or arch support if he or she is under the age of five. A child’s feet are still growing, and constricting them with tight shoes can lead to long-term damage.
Pay attention to the way your child walks. Bad foot health can cause children to have poor posture and develop an awkward or abnormal walk. You can catch these problems early by paying close attention to your child’s gait. If you see anything out of the ordinary, even if it is very slight or subtle, take your child to see the podiatrist as soon as possible.
Don’t ignore your child’s complaints of foot pain. Ignoring foot problems in children can eventually lead to flat feet and juvenile bunions, as well as serious problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. If your child complains of pain in his or her feet, check for signs of swelling in the heels or arches. An early visit to the podiatrist may help save your child from a serious foot disorder.
For a gentle and child-friendly podiatrist in metro Atlanta or Middle Georgia, come to Village Podiatry Centers today. We provide excellent foot care for everyone in the family, children and adults alike.