Ankle and foot problems are extremely common in children of all ages. While some issues are hereditary, most are due to strain in physical activities and sports.
Foot problems in children are often overlooked and labelled as either insignificant or parents mistake them for growing pains. As Podiatrists, we know it’s important to keep an eye out for foot or ankle problems that your child may have and to make sure the right precautions are taken. Parents need to keep an eye out for things like ankles turning in more than usual, accompanied by cramping and limping as well as the loss of interest in sports due to foot pains.
Parents should also be aware of other foot issues that can affect children, including:
Flat Feet: Flat feet are commonly a hereditary condition that can affect walking, balance and physical stability. Flat feet can correct itself as the muscles strengthen and the softer tissues stiffen, however if the flat foot persists it can cause pain later in life due to tightness in the calf muscles.
In-Toeing (Pigeon Toes): In-Toeing is when a child’s feet turn inward instead of pointing straight ahead, causing the child to not be able to walk and run properly. Commonly In-toeing goes away without any treatment, however in some cases treatment is needed as self-correction does not occur.
Severs Disease: Commonly found in boys more than girls and between the ages 8-14, Severs disease is when the heel bone of a child’s foot rolls either inwards or outwards more than it should, can create stress on the growth plate which can result in pain.
What can I do?
If your child complains of pain or you notice that your child suffers from any of the foot problems above, or if you are just unsure, it is always best to seek medical advice now to reduce future problems.
At my FootDr, our Podiatrists take a detailed history, perform a physical assessment, use video walking analysis and take a 3D foot scan to find out what’s causing the pain and create a plan to help make your child pain free.
Even if your child doesn’t have any foot pain or symptoms, it is still recommended that they are evaluated by a Podiatrist before they’re six years of age. Early detection of underlying foot problems can help prevent future adult foot deformities.
There is no need to wait until your child is in pain before having them assessed, early detection now can save your child from long-term discomfort.
When you or your children experience foot pain, come and see the team at my FootDr. Book an appointment or call 1800 FOOTDR to speak with your local clinic.