Often times, foot problems that crop up as an adult can be traced back to childhood issues. That’s why children’s foot care is so important – so problems can be addressed early on, and later issues avoided. Associates in Podiatry provides care for the whole family, including your kids! In fact, we are dedicated to keeping kids’ feet healthy and strong right from the start, and all through the years.
Infant & Toddler Feet: Tiny Troubles
Babies are born with flat feet, but should develop an arch by the time they begin walking. There are some instances, however, when an arch does not develop. This does not necessarily need to be a concern. Unless it is interfering with your child’s activities or is causing pain, treatment is not needed. Even if the situation calls for treatment, rest assured that orthotic shoe inserts are usually all that is needed for relief.
If your baby is born with a foot or feet that are curved inward and upward, this is a condition known as clubfoot. While it certainly looks alarming, this is very treatable, especially when addressed right away. Since babies’ bones are soft and malleable, the feet can be gradually and gently manipulated back into proper position with the use of casting and corrective shoes.
It’s important to not restrict your infant’s feet as they grow. Stick with loosely-fitting socks until your baby becomes mobile. When that first step does occur, this is a time when you may notice gait abnormalities. Intoeing — or walking “pigeon-toed” – and toe walking are common and are typically outgrown. Be sure to stay on top of your child’s quickly changing shoe size! Tight shoes can cause juvenile bunions and other conditions that may bring your child discomfort and future problems.
Adolescent Feet: Teen Tribulations
As kids grow and become more and more active, their feet continue to need care. Tarsal coalition is a condition in which bones in the foot are fused together with symptoms of stiffness and pain not apparent until the tween years. Sever’s disease is another condition to watch for in growing children. This occurs when the Achilles tendon does not grow as fast as the heel bone causing it to pull on the heel’s growth plate resulting in pain.
We always opt for conservative treatment methods first and you can take comfort in knowing that in most cases these are quite successful. There are times, however, when surgery may need to be considered to provide your son or daughter with the relief needed to get back to favorite sports and activities. In such cases, we will thoroughly explain procedures and help you determine which is best for your child.
Find out more about the pediatric care we provide by contacting our Roselle Park, NJ office at (908) 687-5757, or dial (609) 924-8333 to reach our Princeton location. Children’s foot care is an important part of your child’s wellbeing. Be sure to make regular appointments for your children so we can catch issues early and treat them promptly, ensuring that your kids’ feet stay healthy and problem-free.