Children’s feet are very delicate and require special attention. As your child grows, the leg undergoes many changes in length, and position to help them walk properly. Therefore, parents should begin learning about these changes, and how abnormal changes can occur, especially in the feet. These abnormal changes can become larger problems later in life and affect your child’s walking ability. There are several tips for parents follow to help take care of their child’s feet and ensure they stay healthy:
- Essential Nutrition: Ensuring your child is receiving essential nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, and protein is crucial to healthy development of your child. These nutrients will help with bone and muscle development, and to avoid nutrient-deficient conditions (i.e. Rickets).
- Buy Properly Fitted Shoes: When buying shoes, it is vital that your child’s shoes are not too tight or too loose, as this can cause foot pain, and other issues. Shoes that are too tight can distort the position of your child’s toes, and cause pain. Having distorted toes can also cause changes in your child’s walking pattern and have an impact on muscle development in the leg. It is also important to buy shoes that appropriate for your child’s activities (basketball shoes for playing basketball, boots for hiking, etc.)
- Proper Foot Hygiene: It is important to make sure your child’s feet are properly cleansed daily and that they are not excessively moist. You can prevent infections from growth of bacterial and fungal organisms in your child’s feet by keeping the feet clean, dry, and lightly moisturized.
When to see a Podiatrist
If your child is walking awkwardly or is not walking at all (withdrawal from activities), it could be due to pain caused by an underlying foot, or leg condition. Your child should see a podiatrist to determine the cause and prevent further injuries.
If you notice irregularities with your child’s feet and have concerns, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gary N. Friedlander or Dr. Jay C. Larson at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists in Glendale, Arizona, and have all your treatment options presented to you and ensure you and your child maintain healthy feet.