Pediatric Foot Care
Children’s feet might not have seen as much use as an adult’s, but they can still experience many of the same problems adults face. In addition, extra attention should be paid to the way a child’s feet develop, which helps to reduce the risks of chronic problems staying around in adulthood.
Keeping an Eye on Feet As They Grow
Baby’s first steps are one of the most memorable highlights of parenthood. Following that, however, it’s common to see certain manners of walking or foot shapes that might not have been expected. These can include:
- Pediatric flatfoot/flexible flatfoot. When a child’s arches appear flat while standing, but reappear when sitting down or rising on tiptoes.
- Toe walking. A child spends longer than normal walking on their toes.
- In-toeing or out-toeing. A child walks with feet turned inward or outward.
The good news is that initially seeing these traits in your child is not a major cause for concern. These are relatively common sights parents see as children’s feet grow and develop at a young age.
We are not born with our arches, so it is common to see a “flexible” form of flatfoot as a child starts to walk. Over time, the arches will typically continue to develop. Abnormal manners of walking also tend to be part of learning to walk as well, and often correct themselves with time.
However, it is very wise to keep track of these behaviors when you see them in your child, as there is a chance that these conditions will either not resolve themselves or are sign of a different underlying problem. We can schedule periodic check-ups to make sure your child’s feet are developing properly and provide early intervention if treatment is needed. The sooner a potential problem is addressed, the less likely it will result in a chronic problem as an adult.
Other Foot and Ankle Problems
As most parents are aware, there are always other problems that can develop with a child’s feet and ankles.
We are more than prepared to address any foot or ankle problems your child may face, including:
- Ingrown toenails, which can be common as children quickly outgrow shoes and toes start to crowd together.
- Sports injuries, such as sprains and stress fractures.
- Sever’s disease, a common form of heel pain in active children between the ages of 7 and 14.
- Potential hereditary conditions, such as overpronation and even the development of bunions.
Plans for many conditions involve direct treatment, but also preventative measure to keep the problem from progressing or happening again. These might involve changes in footwear, stretching exercises, or the use of custom orthotics or other devices to keep feet properly supported and aligned.
Taking care of foot and ankle problems when they arise in children can help prevent them from being serious or chronic issues once feet have stopped growing so much in adulthood. If you would like to schedule an appointment or have questions about your child’s foot health, please give us a call at (480) 917-2300.
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