At Texas Foot Specialists, we know that children and adolescent feet require special attention. The growth and development patterns of growing feet as well as the habits and lifestyles of children mean that they are susceptible to specific foot problems.
Below are 3 to be on the lookout for:
1. Fungal infections—children love to go barefoot, and they don’t think twice about swapping shoes with a friend or using the same soap or towel to wash with. They are also curious and may touch each other’s feet. These are all activities that can lead to fungal infections which are spread by direct contact. Other conditions that are highly contagious include warts and athlete’s foot. Be sure to wash your child’s feet every day and educate them about not sharing items that touch another child’s feet.
2. Ingrown toenails—picking at toenails is also common among children. Toenails in young ones tend to be easy to peel off and many children do this without even thinking about it. This leads to a greater incidence of ingrown toenails. Trim nails regularly and make sure there are no rough edges to pick.
3. Pediatric flat foot—just like adults, children may experience a flattening of the arch of the foot. They may not, however, be able to tell you what’s wrong. In some cases, flat feet can cause pain in the arch or the heel and cramping in the foot, knee or leg. Flat feet may be rigid—no arch is ever visible; or flexible—an arch is visible when the child is not bearing weight on the foot. In some children, the heel may tilt outward as well. It’s important to get flat foot treated in children promptly or it can lead to permanent deformity and chronic foot pain in adulthood.
Be observant and notice if there are changes in your child’s play habits, gait or the appearance of their feet and ankles. If you suspect your child may have a podiatric problem, contact our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office so that our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller, can examine your child’s feet and determine if treatment is needed.