Just as with adults, the foot health of children is critical to their well-being and overall health. But how do you know if your child is experiencing foot troubles? And what kinds of foot issues require a consultation with a doctor? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Early Foot Trouble Signs and Symptoms
Many issues can affect the health of your kids’ feet, including Sever’s Disease, out-toeing, in-toeing (sometimes called pigeon toes), flat feet, clubfoot, ankle weakness and foot deformities. While they all have different signs and symptoms, most share common signs that can alert parents to a potential problem. These signs include:
- Problems with the way your child walks, runs or jumps
- Pain, swelling or redness that doesn’t go away within a couple of days
- Calluses on one area of the foot (an indication of an abnormal gait)
- Weak ankles that easily twist or give out
- Constant tripping or falling
- Shins or legs that appear to turn outward or inward
If your child is experiencing any of the above, you should consult with his or her doctor, podiatrist or pediatrician. Catching foot problems early on can prevent more serious health issues and permanent deformities from developing.
A Regular “Owie”... Or More?
So many questions arise with parenting, and one is whether or not to worry when your child complains of pain when there are no noticeable symptoms. Many parents assume that if there are no visible signs of a wound or infection, their child’s complaint must simply be growing pains. However, we’re here to tell you that growing pains do not exist. If your child is telling you that he or she feels foot or ankle pain that doesn’t go away within a few days, it’s best to get him or her examined by a podiatrist, pediatrician or regular doctor. Foot and ankle pain are early symptoms of many childhood foot problems and disorders, and your child may need intervention such as shoe modifications, orthotic devices or surgery to help prevent the problems from worsening.
Mama Called the Doctor, and the Doctor Said...
Whether or not your child is experiencing foot and ankle pain or any of the symptoms above, it is recommended that you have your doctor check his or her feet during routine physicals and any other checkups. Because whether it’s allowed or not (as many doctors have said), you definitely want a child who’s able to jump on the bed.