Some foot conditions are hereditary, so if you have a foot issue, then check to see if your children’s feet look similar. Often parents get an intuitive feel that there is a problem with the way that their child is walking or running. You should seek professional foot care advice from a qualified podiatrist if you notice your child walking on tip toes, walking with their toes pointing outwards or inwards, or if your child is complaining of persistent pain in their feet or experiencing excessive tiredness in the legs and feet.
It is not just children’s unique development pattern that differentiates their feet from adults. Children are always on the go, they are doing so many different types of activities that can give rise to foot problems. Children are more prone to verrucae pedis (warts), corns, athletes foot (fungal infection) and ingrown toenails. Some good foot hygiene habits include ensuring that your child’s feet are washed and dried thoroughly. Special attention should be paid to the area between the toes. Toe nails should be trimmed regularly and trimmed straight across. If you notice that your child has any of these conditions, a podiatrist is well equipped to help treat them.
Unlike teeth and eyes, foot health in kids is often neglected. This may not only lead to problems in the feet, but elsewhere as well such as the knees, legs and back. If you are in doubt about your child’s feet, do check with your podiatrist. A thorough check should include assessing alignment, joint movement, bone, muscle and soft tissue of the foot, leg, back and sometimes up to the spine. It is important that the assessment includes non-weight bearing assessment (sitting), weight bearing (standing) assessment as well as dynamic (walking and running) assessment.
The treatment plan may involve stretching or strengthening exercises for your child and footwear advice. For children in sports a podiatrist may also teach parents and children how to tape the foot, this can provide support to the foot and reduce pain levels. Orthotics may also be prescribed to support the arch of the foot or realign foot position.
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