Children’s Foot and Leg Problems
Advanced Family & Sports Podiatry is experienced in treating problems with the growth, development and health of your children’s feet. As a parent you can be confident that their feet and lower limb health are in good hands.
Children’s feet have an important role of supporting them as they grow, so if as a parent you have any concerns about their posture, walking or discomfort, we can help.
Following a thorough consultation, we can assess, diagnose and treat problems such as flat feet, pigeon toed, Sever’s and toe-walking as well as determine the reasons for pain in any part of your child’s foot, ankle and lower limbs. We can also assist with advice on correct footwear selection.
Common conditions we treat in children include:
- Flat feet
- Pigeon toed walking
- Late walkers
- Growing pains
- Abnormal foot posture
- Heel pain
- Knee pain
- Leg pain
Here are our top tips to help you care for your child’s feet.
1 – INFANCY (birth to 1 year)
Look carefully at your baby’s feet. A child’s feet grow rapidly during the first year and it can be considered to be one of the most critical stages of the foot’s development.
If you notice something that does not look normal to you and have concerns, contact a podiatrist.
- Keep your baby’s feet unrestricted. No shoes or booties are necessary for infants. These can restrict movement and can inhibit toes and feet from normal development if they are not properly fitting.
- Provide an opportunity for exercising the feet. Lying uncovered enables the baby to kick and perform other related motions that prepare the feet for weight bearing.
2 – TODDLER (1–3 years)
- Keep bare feet indoors. Walking barefoot allows your toddler’s foot to grow and develop its musculature and strength, as well as the grasping action of toes. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.
- Assess your child’s walking pattern or gait. It is not uncommon for little ones to walk on their toes. However, persistent toe-walking should be reviewed by a podiatrist. They will examine a child to make a proper diagnosis and determine the best treatment option(s).
- Pay attention to unspoken signs. If your child is limping, tripping, or always wants to remove one or both shoes, this may be an unspoken sign that the shoes don’t fit properly.
3 – YOUNG CHILD (4–8 years)
- It’s important to have your child’s feet properly fitted when buying shoes. Every shoe fits differently and letting a child have a say in the shoe-buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
- Establish good outdoor footwear practices. Spending summer at the pool? Wear flip-flops around the pool and in the change room to prevent bacterial infections.
- Have a sporty child? Make sure sports shoes fit properly. Kids should be able to wiggle their toes, but sports shoes should support the heel, instep, and ball of their foot to help prevent blisters, chafing, and ankle or foot injuries.
4 – PRETEEN (9–12 years)
- Play it safe with sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries become common as children start participating in athletic activities. Parents should consider discussing these matters with their family podiatrist if they have children participating in sports.
- Buy shoes that are comfortable right away. Kids may see their friends with the latest flashy sneakers or trendy boots, but make sure those styles are comfortable for your child’s foot before purchasing them. Properly fitted shoes should never require a “break-in” period.