A child's foot bones are still growing, making them softer and more vulnerable than adult feet. Typically, your child's feet won't fully develop until the child reaches their late teens. That's why it's critical to focus on proper foot health and care from an early age to ensure optimal development. Feet that are well cared for throughout childhood are less likely to trigger problems later on in life.
On many occasions, children may suffer from foot conditions caused by trauma or ill-fitting shoes. Luckily, you can prevent many common foot ailments in children through proper foot care. Should your child develop a more serious condition like bone deformities, they can be corrected with proper treatment.
Common Foot Ailments in Children
There are many different types of ailments that children can experience throughout their childhood and teen years. Here are some common foot conditions that often affect children:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Short tendons that cause the foot to bend inward or downward
- Gordon's Syndrome – toe joints that get fixed in a flexed position
- Freiberg's disease – injury to the growth plate, causing pain in the ball of the foot
- Kohler's disease – a bone disorder caused by loss of blood supply
- Sever's disease – injury to the growth plate, causing heel pain
- Osteochondroma – a benign growth that forms at the end of the toes
With proper medical care, all of these issues can be resolved, restoring the health of your kid's feet.
Foot Care for Children
Foot problems that begin during childhood can be treated to prevent more severe conditions in adulthood. By making foot health a priority, you can help your child learn habits that'll be extremely helpful to them when they become old enough to care for their own feet. For example, helping your child to wash their feet several times each week, along with teaching them to dry between their toes, can considerably reduce the risks of fungal infections like athlete's foot.
Additionally, children should have their toenails cut straight across to have flat edges. This helps discourage the nails from becoming ingrown. A healthy diet also goes a long way in promoting healthy development. Your child should take foods rich in calcium (milk, bread, and broccoli) and vitamin D (cheese, oily fish, and egg yolk) to help foot bones grow strong.
Properly Fitted Footwear
When purchasing any kind of shoes for your child, ensure they fit properly and have the right length and width. Also, check whether your child's shoes still fit every few weeks. If the shoes are only about 5mm longer than your kid's longest toe, it's time to get a larger pair. Additionally, train your child to practice walking with proper foot alignment and posture.
Seek Care for More Challenging Alignments
Besides general foot care for children, consider seeking specialized care from a medical expert to resolve issues caused by foot abnormalities. For instance, if you've noticed that the soles of your child's feet are flat instead of arched, seek help from a foot specialist to help mitigate the situation. Catching more serious problems early shortens treatment times and can prevent major complications from occurring as your child reaches adulthood.
Get Regular Foot Health Checks
It's important to recognize that kids may not know when they have a foot problem. Be sure to keep an eye on any symptoms such as limping and blisters. You should also address all foot conditions as soon as possible.
At The Foot Health Center, our priority is to promote wellness and good health throughout your kid's childhood years. You can trust our team of professionals to handle your child's discomfort through compassionate, comprehensive foot care in Maryville. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!