Children are usually incredible active, spending a large amount of time running and playing with their friends. However, for some children, regular childhood activities can become painful or problematic due to foot and ankle problems.
There are many foot and ankle conditions that children can experience, some of which can lead to significant issues later in life.
As a parent, your child’s well-being will always be your paramount concern, so here’s what you need to know about pediatric foot care:
Pain is a Concern
While children experience “growing pains” from time to time, foot pain should be considered a concerning sign that requires further investigation. If your child complains that their feet are hurting, a visit to a podiatrist is highly recommended.
Watch the Way Your Child Walks
When your child is old enough to walk unsupported, watching the way they walk provides the opportunity to identify any issues that may become problematic in later life.
In particular, look out for common conditions such as toe-walking (where a child appears to prefer to walk on tiptoes rather than with the standard heel-toe motion), in-toeing (sometimes referred to as “pigeon toes”), out-toeing, and flat feet; if you notice any of the aforementioned issues, your child may need to see a podiatrist for further assistance.
Check Feet Regularly & Focus on the Skin
As children will spend most of their time wearing shoes and/or socks, you may have relatively few opportunities to see the skin of your child’s feet – which is problematic, given that issues such as warts, verrucas, and papillomas can develop relatively quickly.
It’s therefore worth occasionally checking the skin of your child’s feet regularly, so you can identify any fledgling issues and seek further advice from a podiatrist in due course.
Monitor Your Child’s Toenails
Ingrown toenails – where the toenail grows into the flesh rather than extending outwards towards the edge of the toe – are relatively common in children. If left untreated, ingrown toenails will break the skin, become inflamed, and risk infection, so it’s helpful to regularly inspect your child’s toenails – perhaps at the same time as you check their foot skin, as mentioned above.
If you notice any toenails are curving, or that the skin around the nail is red or inflamed, then seek further assistance from a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Be Cautious of Repetitive Injuries
Every child will, at some point, sprain their ankle – this type of injury is incredibly common, causing swelling and pain that can last for several days. However, ankle sprains can actually be problematic to the health of your child’s feet, and especially if they experience repeated ankle sprains in a short space of time.
As a result, seeing the advice of a podiatrist when your child sustains a sprained ankle is highly advised and can help ensure effective healing.
Contact Dr. Jeremy Thomas at Triangle Foot & Ankle today
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s foot or ankle health or have any questions regarding pediatric podiatry and foot care services, don’t wait! To arrange an appointment with Dr. Jeremy Thomas, please contact Triangle Foot & Ankle Specialists today by calling (919) 851-3435 or by visiting us online and filling out our contact form.