Detecting Foot Disorders in Children

Normally, your 7-year-old son can’t wait to get on the soccer field but suddenly he says he doesn’t feel like playing. He seems to walking a bit funny too and tripped twice in the same afternoon. He doesn’t have a fever or appear sick in any way—what’s going on? It’s possible that something is wrong with his feet.

At Texas Foot Specialists, we treat many children and sometimes they are not very articulate about just what is bothering them. That’s why parents have to be sleuths, looking for clues to potential podiatric problems. A child whose foot is hurting may not come right out and say that but you may notice they are not participating in physical activities that they normally enjoy. Other signs that your child may have a foot problem include:

  • Limping
  • Walking on tip toes or heels
  • Complaining that there’s something in the shoe when there isn’t
  • Clumsiness, stumbling or falling
  • An unusual gait

What’s the Problem?

All of these actions may be your child’s way of trying to lessen pain or avoid putting pressure on a sore spot. Some common causes of foot pain in children include: ingrown toenails, warts, athlete’s foot, ankle or toe sprain and fungal toenails. Less frequently foot discomfort may indicate a more serious issue such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis or a joint or nerve issue.

Getting to the Bottom of It

If your child is exhibiting any of the above signs, start by examining his or her feet. Look for redness, cuts, blisters, swelling, tenderness to the touch, warmth or bruising. Ask your child if they remember falling or hitting their foot on anything. Try to get them to show you with their hands where on the foot that it hurts.

For pain or other symptoms that don’t disappear on their own in a day or two, contact us to make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller in our Pasadena, Sugar Land or Houston office. Our foot doctors are experienced in treating children and will know the questions to ask to help pinpoint just what is causing the pain.