Children can experience many of the same foot and ankle problems as adults—from ingrown toenails to fungal issues and even bunions. There are also foot conditions that can be present at birth, while others begin to show as your child develops.
Though you don't have to live in constant fear of your child's foot health, it does pay to keep an eye on things, make sure they receive regular podiatric care, and have potential problems professionally addressed before they have an opportunity to become more serious. Here's what you should know.
Concerns for Developing Feet
Some foot conditions—like clubfoot, polydactyly (extra toes), and overlapping toes—are obvious at birth and may require corrective procedures or surgeries. However, there are a number of potential problems that don't begin to show until a child starts walking.
For example, when a child begins to bear weight, you might notice that their arches flatten out but return when they sit or rise onto their toes. This is a condition known as flexible flatfoot, and, in many cases, it can be a very normal part of growing up. In fact, children tend to be born with little to no arch in their feet, developing them as they grow and walk.
Flexible flatfoot can become a problem if it starts to cause your child pain or doesn't resolve itself as they grow. It's important for us to note this condition and monitor it as your child gets older. If we spot the potential for trouble, we can recommend correction or management measures to prevent it from becoming rigid and painful.
Pay similar attention to other abnormalities you see in the shape of your child's feet, or the way they walk, such as walking with feet turned inward ("pigeon-toed"), consistently on tiptoe, or in other unorthodox fashions. While this is often just a standard part of development, it can also be a sign of an underlying problem. Keeping track of these quirks and seeking timely treatment can help ensure that your child reaches adulthood with their best feet forward.
Prompt Treatment for Sudden, Painful Problems
Though some pediatric foot conditions are present at birth or occur over time, others are more sudden and require prompt evaluation and treatment. When problems like these arise, our experts are committed to helping your child find comfort and relief. Here's a look at just a couple of the acute pediatric foot conditions we treat at our Alexandria practice:
- Ingrown toenails. Common in younger children, ingrown toenails can be inherited or caused by wearing socks and shoes that are too tight. While many cases can be successfully treated at home, we can provide professional treatment for cases that are especially painful or keep coming back.
- Heel pain. Active adolescents can develop heel pain as a normal part of growing up. Known as Sever's disease, this condition can go away with proper treatment. We can also provide tips for stretching and warming up that vulnerable part of the heel.
If you find yourself concerned about a problem with your child's feet or ankles, don't hesitate to reach out to our gentle pediatric podiatry specialists.
Request an Appointment With Our Pediatric Foot Care Experts
If you have noticed an issue with your child's feet or just want to set them on a path toward lifelong foot health, you've come to the right place. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office at (703) 560-3773 to request an appointment.