How Do You Know if Your Child Has a Foot Problem?

Different people have different styles of walking. Every person’s body is put together slightly differently and so each person takes on a unique way of moving around.


Unique is usually just fine, as long as a person isn’t experiencing any foot pain. When it comes to children, especially very young walkers, they may not be aware of a problem or they may not be able to express it in words. It’s up to parents to keep an eye out for any problems in their young children’s feet and in the way they’re walking.


What to look out for

There are a number of signs indicating that your child may have an issue with their lower limbs. If you notice any of these issues in your child, don’t panic. Pediatric foot issues often resolve themselves as the child gets older. But do err on the safe side and make an appointment with board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Centreville, VA if you see:


  1. Calluses, corns, and blisters – The appearance of any of these may simply mean your child’s shoe doesn’t fit properly. But they may also indicate a problem with the child’s gait.
  2. Toes that point inward or outward – In-toeing (“pigeon toes”) and out-toeing are pretty common in young children. But if your child’s toes don’t naturally straighten by the age of 2 or so, bring it to Dr. Wilhelm’s attention.
  3. Pain that doesn’t go away – Foot pain that doesn’t subside with rest is never normal (that goes for adults, too). If your child always appears to be in pain, he may be suffering from abnormally high arches, low arches, or no arches – also called flatfoot. We have a special interest in and have successfully treated many cases of pediatric flatfoot over the years.
  4. Visible signs of trauma – Wilhelm needs to be consulted to find the source of persistent swelling, redness, or wounds that don’t heal.
  5. Walking on tiptoes – very young walkers often walk on their tippy toes at first, and it may be just a habit. But if your child continues to walk on her toes beyond age 2, it’s prudent to have us check out the reason why.


Any anxiety that you have about your child’s feet or ankles is best quelled by a qualified podiatrist. For excellence in children’s foot care, call Dr. Wilhelm with your concerns at (703) 996-3000. We have 18 years of experience in treating all manners of pediatric foot ailments.

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