Children's Foot Care: Treating Kids' Feet
Making sure kids eat healthy and get plenty of exercise is important, and so is children’s foot care! In fact, keeping kids’ feet in the best of health is a big part of their overall wellbeing. You don’t want to let an injury or problem get in the way of running, playing, jumping, participating in sports, or doing any other activity your kids enjoy. The good news is, getting children to go to regular podiatry visits is a lot easier than getting them to eat Brussel sprouts and spinach! At North Austin Foot & Ankle, we provide pediatric care for a wide range of children’s foot issues that can spring up anytime from baby’s first steps to your teenagers winning touchdown.
The Early Years
When babies are born, their tiny little feet are flat. An arch develops over time, but in some cases, it never does. Kids’ flat feet should only be a concern if the condition interferes with activities and causes your child pain. Even then, conservative methods like orthotic shoe inserts are typically all that is needed to ease discomfort.
Sometimes babies are born with abnormally twisted feet, a condition referred to as clubfoot. It may look frightening to a parent, but rest assured that since a newborn’s bones are quite malleable, an early treatment program of stretching, rotating, and sometimes casting to keep feet in proper position is enough to realign feet correctly so your child will be able to run and play like any other.
Baby’s first steps are an exciting milestone, but if after a while, you notice your tipsy toddler’s gait isn’t quite straight, take heart that this is a common occurrence. In-toeing (commonly referred to as “pigeon toes”) and out-toeing are often outgrown, or addressed with orthotics and physical therapy.
As Kids Grow
Kids grow fast and that goes for their feet, too! It’s vital that you ensure their shoes don’t become too small, as tight shoes can lead to a number of issues, including ingrown toenails and encouragement of a bunion forming due to a genetic foot structure.
If you notice your active young child suddenly doesn’t want to play anymore, starts to limp, or complains of a hurting heel, the likely culprit is Sever’s disease – a condition in which the heel bone grows faster than the Achilles tendon. The tight tendon then pulls on the heel bone and causes it to hurt. This condition will go away once your child is done growing, but stretches and orthotics, as well as a switch to lower impact activities, can all help in the meantime.
Another condition we sometimes see is tarsal coalition. This occurs when bones in the foot fuse together as the grow, which is why, though present at birth, symptoms typically don’t appear until the teenage years.
All Along the Way
Of course, sports injuries and other issues, including warts, can arise throughout childhood, adolescence, and into adulthood, which is why it’s good to know we’re here for you, your kids, and everyone in your family! If you need help with children’s foot care or any other foot or ankle problem, contact our Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX office by dialing (512) 593-2949. We’re here for you every step of the way!