All parents agree on one thing: your child’s health matters. Children grow rapidly from their infancy through adolescence, developing in size, musculature, coordination, and mental ability. You don’t want your little one to deal with illness and pain. You want your child to have as much success in life as possible. That is part of why expert children’s foot care is so important.
Just like the rest of their bodies, children’s feet grow a lot from birth to adulthood. They have to adjust and become strong enough to support their bodies to walk and participate in activities. Healthy foot growth is an important part of helping your child avoid a variety of painful problems in the lower limbs later in life. Proper children’s foot care both monitors your little one’s growth and treats any problems that arise.
Baby feet are soft and flexible. Their bones, muscles, and connective tissues take time to be able to support your child and need to be exercised so they can build up strength. Playing and tickling your child’s feet during this time is important to help your little one stretch out and move those toes so they’ll be strong enough for walking. You also want to avoid putting your child in socks and shoes that are too tight—the squeezing can injure his or her toes during this developmental period.
Babies and toddlers learning to walk will need to have their feet monitored closely. You don’t want to force your little one to walk before he or she is ready. When your child does start walking, watch for any problems. Potential gait abnormalities may appear during this time. Toe walking, intoeing, and even out-toeing aren’t uncommon for small children, but they could be signs of more complicated issues.
As your child grows, make sure his or her shoes are always big enough for his or her lower limbs. Too-tight footwear will compress the feet and may lead to problems with ingrown toenails and toe deformities. Also keep an eye out for problems with flat feet, which may require accommodations in footwear. During late childhood and early adolescence, active children may be more prone to sports injuries and problems like Sever’s disease. Always have your child’s foot and ankle complaints checked out so any issues can be addressed before they cause serious damage.
Conditions and Deformities
There are a number of children’s foot and ankle problems that are fairly common and need prompt care. Clubfoot is a congenital deformity that could make it very difficult for your baby to walk normally if not addressed right away. Some gait abnormalities may be symptoms of neuromuscular issues. Injuries to bones from sports, or even just playing, could cause pain and growth problems, so they will need to be treated right away.
Whether or not your child has healthy feet actually does matter. The lower limbs are the body’s foundation. Help your child develop a strong and stable body by paying attention to his or her feet and ankles. Have them examined periodically and never ignore complaints of pain. Healthy feet increase your child’s odds of avoiding pain and difficulty in the lower limbs later in life.
Contact expert Dr. Sanjay Patel here at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. in Milford and Hamden, CT, for an appointment or more information on children’s foot care. Call either of our office locations— (203) 876-7736 for our Milford office, or (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden location—or fill out our online contact form to reach us.