Chiropodist & Podiatrist
Children's Foot Problems
In many cases, foot problems in adult life can often be prevented or reduced through early intervention in childhood. Bunions, hammer toes, curly toes and flat feet are common foot problems we see every day. All of these things can have a genetic cause which can be passed down from generation to generation, the good news is that effect of these problems can be minimised. At My Foot Doctor, our podiatrist we believes in trying to prevent your foot problems in the next generation with advice and management early on.
PROMOTING HEALTHY FEET IN CHILDREN
Most children begin to walk anywhere between the ages of 8 to 18 months and by the age of 12 a young person's foot has nearly reached its adult size which is why early childhood is an important time for correction of any developmental and structural abnormalities. Many parents choose to have their children's feet assessed by a podiatrist from the time they start walking right up to when they start high school. Its never too late to have your child's feet assessed.
Children who continuously wear incorrect shoes can develop many problems in later life and exacerbate inherited foot problems. Common problems such as hammer toes, caused by shoes which are too big or too small, ingrown toenails,cracked or fissured heels from continued use of sling back shoes, and corns under the toe nails can be prevented by selecting the right shoe. Correct shoe wear is also important when it comes to slowing the development of bunions.
At My Foot Doctor we have a special interest in the growth and development of childrens feet. As with many adult foot problems being detected early in life we believe that prevention is better than cure. A full assessment is performed to identify any causes of current or potential problems. Todays treatments for toddlers with biomechanical problems are generally non invasive and usually involve some fun exercises and games as well as some education and a little arch support if required. For older children we normally treat them like mini adults in a relaxed and friendly environment with the added focus on teaching them the importance of caring for their feet, knowing their body and asking for help as needed.
FOOT PAIN IS " Never Normal"
Foot pain in a child's foot or ankle is never normal. Any pain that lasts more than a few days or is sever enough to make a child limp or affect their walking should be evaluated by a podiatrist. Common Foot Conditions in Children include:
- Growing pains
- Flat feet
- Sever's Disease (heel pain in children)
- Ingrown Toenails
- Sporting injuries
- Smelly feet
BABIES FOOT DEVELOPMENT
A child’s feet grow very fast in the first year, attaining almost half their adult foot size. This is why foot specialists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet.
Here are some suggestions to help you assure that this development proceeds normally:
- Look carefully at your baby’s feet. If you notice something that does not look right to you, get it checked straight away. Deformities will not be outgrown by themselves.
- Cover baby’s feet loosely. Cut out the toes of baby gro’s and loosen tight covers on the bed.
- Bare feet are able kick and wriggle, to get ready for walking.
- Do not force your child to walk too soon. They will naturally stand and walk when physically and emotionally ready.
- Do not compare your child to others of the same age as walking can begin anywhere from 10 to 18 months.
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors, as long as there are no problems with their feet. This allows for normal growth and development of the muscles and bones. The soft cartilage which your child has can easily be bent out of shape in shoes that don’t fit and your child will not necessarily be able to tell you – shoes don’t have to hurt to do damage. And as a baby’s foot is so flexible, it can easily be squeezed into a badly fitting shoe, storing up trouble for the future.
Therefore it is very important that you have your child’s foot is measured at a reputable high street shoe shop every 2-4 months.
Neglecting foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. There can also be undesirable personality effects. The youngster with troublesome feet walks awkwardly and usually has poor general posture. As a result, the growing child may become shy, introverted, and avoid athletics and social functions. If you are worried in any way, contact us for advice.
The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body it has 26 bones, and an array of ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Because the feet of young children are soft and pliable, abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities.
PREGNANCY & FOOT CONDITIONS
Pregnancy can be a tough time for feet. The sudden increase in weight, the influx of hormones, swelling and more can lead to flattening of the feet, heel pain, often referred to as "Plantar Fasciitis", foot pain, ingrown toenail, cracked heels, leg cramps, hot feet, ball of foot pain, varicose veins and more! Many of these problems can be improved with the right advice and the help of a podiatrist.
Remember your child will not always be able to tell you if there is something wrong. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be damaged without your child knowing.
Walking is the best of all foot exercises. Walking patterns should be carefully observed. Does your child toe in or out, have knock knees, or often trip? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early enough. Going barefoot is normally best for children indoors.
Always have your children’s feet measured every time you buy shoes.
Lynnette our advanced orthopaedic Podiatrist has over 11 years experience diagnosing and treating children's foot conditions and sport injuries. To discuss your child’s foot or lower limb problems in further detail, or to make an appointment with our Podiatrist call us on: 01698 267389 or you can text her on clinic mobile:07985 687 770. Or you can book online just click the button below.
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