Why is foot care important for children?
During the early years of life, the human body experiences many different changes. The human foot is one area that requires close monitoring during the early years of development. For example, most children are born with flat feet. As the body develops, the foot should develop an arch. In the case that the arch does not develop correctly, it is likely that the child will grow up to experience heel pain, back pain, hip pain or knee pain.
To ensure that your child experiences proper foot and ankle development, it is important that you consult a podiatrist. This is especially true if your family has a history of flat feet, heel pain, diabetes or any other foot or ankle condition.
What should you be looking for in your child?
A human’s foot structure, during the early years of life, is typically fully developed by the age of 14. Until that time there are a number of conditions to be aware of. From birth up to complete foot and ankle maturity here is what you should be looking for:
Flat Feet – Most children will be born with flat feet. Although most children will develop an arch in their foot, some will not. If the child’s parents have a history of flat foot in adult hood, it is important to get their feet checked.
Intoeing – Intoeing, also known as pigeon toe, is a problem that will likely disappear as development progresses. This condition presents itself in a walking posture that includes the toes, from opposite feet, pointing toward each other. Treatment is generally not needed unless the problem persists after 8 years of age.
Severs Disease – This most commonly occurs in children who are experiencing a phase of rapid growth (generally between the ages of 8 and 14).Severs disease will cause an inflammation in the back of the heel and can result in pain throughout the entire body. One common sign of this condition is when a child walks tip-toed.
Plantar Warts – Warts on the feet are common in adults, but are generally more common in children. Plantar warts develop when a virus enters the skin of the foot. This will cause a bump to form and may also cause pain when applying pressure to the affected area.
Diagnosing a foot problem in a child requires a professional eye. If your child is complaining about foot pain, bring them to a podiatrist. While pain is expected during the early years of development, not all foot pain is normal.
What can we do for your child?
After fully assessing your child’s foot, podiatrist Lawrence Kales will ask a few needed questions and properly diagnose the issue. Once a diagnosis is determined we are able to offer a number a of treatment options. We always treat our patient conservatively before considering other invasive options. If your child is experiencing a structural problem, custom orthotics or prescription shoes may be a suitable option.
It is important to seek professional help during the early stages of life. As time progresses and the problem becomes more severe, surgery may be required. If you have a question or would like to set up an appointment, contact one of our conveniently located Florida offices.