Flat Feet or Flexible Flat Foot
Normally, the feet should have a slight arch in the middle when placing it on a flat surface. These normal arches usually form during childhood, at about 2 to 3 years of age. However, there are times when these arches don’t develop on the insides of the feet, causing a condition called flat feet.
Flat foot is a common condition affecting 54% of 3-year-old toddlers and 24% of 6-year-old children. This developmental problem usually goes unnoticed since most cases are painless and asymptomatic.
It will only become a problem when your child experiences heel pain and leg cramps when walking. Additionally, children with flat feet should limit their physical activity as the condition makes them vulnerable to foot and ankle injuries.
Heel pain refers to a condition characterized by tenderness or aching feeling at the back of the foot or ankle. It is commonly seen in children participating in rigorous activities, sports training, or competitive games.
Painful sensations in the heel may be caused by repetitive stress or overuse, which you can easily solve by icing techniques and proper rest. However, heel pain may also be due to an underlying foot and ankle injury or condition, which may turn severe if unaddressed. This includes:
- Sever’s disease
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bone fracture
So when your child experiences mild to moderate heel pain, it’s best to seek an expert pediatric podiatrist right away. Click here to find the closest Florida Foot and Ankle office for a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment of your children’s feet.
A sprained ankle refers to an injury that happens when you turn or twist your ankle in the wrong way. Such movements can force the ligaments to stretch beyond their normal range or, worse, sustain partial or complete tears.
Ankle sprains usually heal after two to three days of home care remedies, such as cold compress and proper rest. However, it’s still important to see a doctor when pain and swelling persist, as this may indicate a more severe injury.
Warts are non-cancerous, small skin bumps that grow at the top layer of the skin due to a virus. Plantar warts commonly develop on the areas of the foot that bears the bulk of the weight or take too much pressure.
Generally, warts are harmless and painless, but they may make walking uncomfortable. If your child experiences pain and other symptoms, then you should seek medical help at once.
Another common pediatric feet conditions are abnormalities or deformities due to an underdeveloped musculoskeletal system. Fortunately, most conditions resolve on their own as the child’s feet mature and continuously develop. Some examples of developmental conditions include:
- In-toeing or pigeon toes - one or both feet turning inward when standing or walking.
- Out-toeing - feet turned outward when walking.
- Toe walking - a child walking on the balls of the feet without using their heels.
Most children outgrow these conditions. However, if these conditions persist together with pain or other symptoms, then it’s best to consult a podiatric specialist.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Feet Problems in Children
Identifying foot problems can be challenging, especially if your child is still at an early age. Moreover, symptoms of pediatric foot conditions don’t always manifest the same way as with adults.
So, here are some cues and situations that might indicate that your child is experiencing some foot problems:
- Limping and irregular gait patterns.
- Abnormal size, shape, color, or form of the foot.
- The child has a limited function or does not participate in their usual physical activities.
- The child complains about pain, aches, and discomfort in their lower extremities.
- The child exhibits balance problems or often trips when walking or running.
- The child does not want to show their feet to you.
Health Tips and Disease Prevention for Children’s Feet
Babies and children are prone to foot injuries and conditions due to their underdeveloped bones and muscles. So they must receive regular podiatric care to ensure optimal feet health.
Fortunately, you can also help your child maintain healthy feet by following these essential health tips:
- Pay attention to your infant or toddler’s feet.
Be on the lookout for signs of feet abnormalities and deformities. Spotting them earlier allows your doctor to diagnose and treat these conditions while they’re still mild.
- Keep their feet unrestricted.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, infants and toddlers should have unrestricted feet to encourage complete bone and muscle development. Plus, moving barefoot can help develop their gross motor skills, like toe grasping.
- Know the dos and don’ts of infant foot care.
Learn the best practices in keeping your baby’s feet healthy. Some examples include performing lower extremity exercises to build strength and avoiding being in a specific position for too long to prevent straining the feet and legs.
- Practice regular and proper hygiene.
Teach your child about proper hygiene practices, such as cutting the nails, washing the feet when dirty, and drying them properly. Such actions can help prevent bacterial and fungal infections from developing.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
Regularly check your child’s foot and shoe size, especially since children grow and develop rapidly. Wearing ill-fitting shoes may cause them to develop corns, calluses, and blisters, which may get infected.
- Immediately tend to their minor injuries.
It’s normal for growing children to sustain minor cuts, bruises, and open wounds during physical activities. It’s important to treat such injuries immediately to avoid exposing them to germs. Some helpful first aid tips for minor injuries include washing the affected area with water and soap, treating it with an iodine solution or ointment, and covering the open wounds.
Lastly, it’s essential to visit your podiatrist to seek routine foot care and check-up for your children’s feet. Additionally, it’s also vital to seek medical attention right away if your child experiences pain and other symptoms.
Where to Find the Best Podiatrist for Children's Feet Near Me?
Pediatric foot care is as important as your child’s eye and dental health. So, if your child suffers from a foot condition or abnormality, then our expert podiatrist throughout South Florida is more than happy to help!
At Florida Foot and Ankle Associates, we provide excellent podiatric care to children of all ages. Our foot specialist will perform a full health evaluation to diagnose your child’s foot condition and develop a unique treatment plan. Besides pediatric foot injuries and disorders, we also perform other services, such as:
- Diabetic foot ulcer care
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Routine foot care, injury, and trauma
- Nail & foot fungus
Contact us now to get in touch with our esteemed heel pain doctor and foot specialists. You can also click here to find and visit one of our many offices conveniently located near you!
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.