At Texas Foot Specialists we treat patients of all ages, and children have their own set of podiatric issues. When dealing with young patients, there are a few things that our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller, keep in mind and that parents should too:
- Children are not always able to say what about their feet doesn’t feet right. Look for signs like a funny walk or not wanting to play outside or do sports they usually love.
- Children’s feet grow super fast. Within a couple of months, shoes that had plenty of room may now be tight and putting pressure on toes or heels.
- Children need advocates when it comes to sports activities. Parents need to be aware of practice routines and make sure that there is adequate rest time, warm ups and stretches.
Here are 3 issues we frequently see in children:
- Sever’s Disease—this disorder affects children ages 8 to 14 and is characterized by heel pain which may be severe at times. The cause of the pain is the growth plate at the back of the heel where new tissue is still forming, making it a vulnerable area of the foot. Repetitive pounding from running, basketball, soccer and other sports can inflame the growth plate, causing ongoing pain and difficulty walking.
- Fungal Infections—athlete’s foot, warts and fungal toenails are all caused by viral or bacterial infections. These are transmitted by direct contact. Children can avoid these common infections by keeping feet covered in places where people walk barefoot like gyms, public bathrooms and the community pool. Teach children not to share towels, socks, shoes and any items that touch another person’s feet.
- Ingrown toenails—in adults, ingrown toenails develop when nails are cut too short. Children, however, achieve the same condition by peeling off the tops of their nails which results in edges that are too short and allow the skin surround the nail bed to grow over them. As the nail continues to grow, it goes into the skin causing a painful, red and swollen area around the toe that can become infected.
Inspect your children’s feet regularly to help prevent or at least detect foot problems in their early stages. If you find anything unusual, contact our Houston (713-664-6677), Pasadena (281-991-0600) or Sugar Land (281-242-4448) office.