Throughout our entire lives, our feet are some of the most important parts of the body. We rely on them to get from A to B and we use them all day every day.
However, even though they are so important, they are often one of the most neglected parts of the body.
It’s important to look after our feet at all stages of life, especially when they are doing the most of their growth and development – when we’re kids.
If you have a child, keep reading to learn about some of the things you should be keeping an eye out for when it comes to their feet according to the experts at the Watsonia Podiatry clinic. Each of the things we talk about today are a sign that your kid may need to see a podiatrist.
You probably remember the feeling all too well – dull aches in your body, particularly in your legs and feet. From the moment we’re born until adulthood, our bodies grow through a number of changes, and sometimes we go through significant growth spurts which, while they are totally normal, they can be a source of frustration.
As kids start growing through puberty and entering into their teenage years, they may experience a few, or only one, major growth spurt. These spurts can happen so quickly that they can leave other parts of the body just waiting to catch up, which can make moving around a little trickier than usual.
These growth spurts also usually happen when kids are at some of the most active periods in their lives, which can increase the pain they are experiencing.
If your child is experiencing growth related pains, like we said, it is normal, however if a light massage doesn’t help to soothe them, consider visiting a podiatrist – they will be able to advise whether the development of their feet is as it should be, and may be able to offer pain relief ideas.
Probably more commonly known as being pigeon-toed, this is when a child (or sometimes, an adult), will walk or run with the feet turned inwards, rather than pointing straight ahead.
Intoeing can be caused by a variety of things, including the way your child was born or their positioning in the womb – which a podiatrist will likely ask you about. This allows them to determine some of the possible causes of the intoeing.
Intoeing can also cause a person to trip or be a little more clumsy than usual. It can also be treated through the use of exercises, orthotics, shoes, and modifying your child’s posture.
Walking on tippy-toes
If your child is prone to tip toeing, where they favour being on the ball of their feet, with their heel rarely touching the floor, it is worth talking to a podiatrist as this may be a developmental issue.
Tiptoeing has also been linked to conditions such as autism, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy. It may also cause fatigue and pain in their legs, particular in the calves and feet.
It can sometimes be corrected through stretching and strengthening exercises, and sometimes surgery may be required.
Clumsy and tripping
As your child is learning to walk, run and play, excitement will take over and they will likely trip over a little bit. This is totally normal. However, if your child is tripping over a lot, more so than their peers, then it might be worth seeing a podiatrist.
A podiatrist may observe them while they are playing to get an indication of the potential causes of the excessive tripping. Often it is linked to weak muscles and/or joints. If they aren’t strong enough, it can be difficult for them to support the body properly.
Often through exercises, excessive tripping can be treated.
Thankfully, ingrown toenails are not very common in kids. It can be a painful condition that can lead to infections and sometimes, if left too long, may need surgery to cure.
When kids suffer from ingrown nails, the causes can be varied, and are commonly due to toenails being cut incorrectly, ill fitting shoes – particularly ones that are too small and placing excessive pressure on the toe area, or if they stub their toe particularly hard or have a heavy object fall on their foot.
If your child is complaining of pain around their toenails, or they clearly have an ingrown nail, then you most certainly should be visiting a podiatrist.
These are some of the most common issues that can affect a child’s feet. If you have a kid, it’s important to not only look out for any signs of the issues we talked about today, but to also maintain the health of their feet regularly. You can do so by ensuring they regularly see a professional foot specialist, like the podiatrist for kids Melbourne – Watsonia Podiatry. Their team of superstar podiatrists are there to ensure your child’s feet are the best they can possibly be.