Children’s feet are constantly growing and changing as they get older. As a parent, it is important to check and see if your children are outgrowing their shoes, or if their shoes are worn out. Tight shoes or shoes without the proper support can cause a lot of damage in the long run but there are a few other common foot problems that are not as recognizable that you might want to keep in mind.
Flatfoot – It is not always obvious that your child is flat footed, especially since their arches don’t begin to develop until there are at least a few years old. However, as they get older, you might notice that they are having trouble keeping up with their peers, running with awkward form, or feeling pain in their general leg area. Some cases of flatfoot (especially if caught early) can be treated with custom orthotic devices to develop the arches of the feet as they grow. Whether the symptoms are non-existent or severe, all cases of flatfoot should be evaluated by a podiatrist to ensure that the condition is properly treated.
Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails don’t seem like a huge deal, but if left untreated, they can be dangerous and painful. Usually caused by socks that are too tight, or improperly cut toenails, ingrown toenails can be avoided altogether with a little extra attention to detail. If genetically prone due to the shape and growth pattern of your nail, try to frequently trim the nails before they get long enough to break the skin. You should always go to your podiatrist to resolve this issue because trying to fix it yourself may result in a serious infection.
Sever’s Disease (Calcaneal Apophysitis) – Not commonly known by name, Sever’s Disease (not technically a disease) is inflammation in your foot that could be very painful. It usually occurs between the ages of 8-14 when a lot of repetitive stress is put on your child’s heel as it is growing, causing it to get inflamed. Sports such as soccer and basketball are a few of the common causes of Sever’s Disease. You may notice that your child is limping (which is never a good thing), walking on their toes, or complaining of heel pain. These are signs that they should reduce physical activity that affects their feet, and make an appointment to see a podiatrist as soon as possible.
Catching foot problems early, before they get serious is especially important for young children because their feet are still in the process of developing and leaving foot problems untreated may result in permanent damage. Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, Virginia is an experienced podiatrist of over 17 years. He specializes in treating a variety of children related foot and ankle disorders and ailments which are listed here. If you have any questions or would like to make appointment please call 703-996-3000 or book online.