What Should I be Looking for in My Kid’s Feet?

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We take feet for granted sometimes. Afterall, they’re hidden inside socks and shoes most of the day. We don’t really pay attention to them unless we need to wash our feet and cut our nails. But while you drink your cup of tea or coffee, stop and think: feet are the #1 thing that helps people get around. We’ve been using our feet since we learned how to do it as toddlers and we’ll still be doing it (hopefully) when we get old.

Now imagine being a parent. Not only do you have to look out for your own feet, but the feet of your kids as well. What a predicament! Thankfully, the folks at Watsonia Podiatry provided this list of 6 of the possible things parents should look out for on their kid’s feet:

1. Flat Feet

Flat footedness and children who have it don’t really have a great time what with the negativity that comes with it. They get told that their feet look weird or they run funny.

Thankfully, flat feet aren’t always permanent and children can grow out of it, literally! We have to remember that feet, much like any part of our body, are complex things. There are many factors that need to be evaluated before giving proper diagnosis of flat feet. Flat feet in children are not usually painful and flat-footedness can sometimes resolve on their own as the bone and muscle structure of the feet develop over time.

Sometimes, it might just seem that our little two or three-year-old has flat feet. However, As a child learns to walk and run, their feet may often look flatter than an adults because they need their feet to be a little more flat to allow for shock absorption compared to adults.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and sometimes flat feet can develop pain in the arch, the ankles and the knees.

2. Toe walking

When toddlers have learned how to walk, they sometimes learn to do so on their toes. You can tell they’re doing this when they walk on their toes and don’t put much weight on their heel or any part of their foot. Although this is common in toddlers, these children eventually learn how to walk normally as they age.

Toe walking past the age of three is not normal and can be caused by developmental issues such as a deformed Achilles’ tendon, or in some cases caused by mental disorders such as autism or cerebral palsy. In rare cases, the cause of toe walking is unknown.

3. Increased Tripping

Aside from still learning how to balance their own weight and to navigate the spaces they’re in, children need to learn how to make their feet clear the ground, which is why we often see babies with an exaggerated stomping gait.

During the time a toddler is learning how to walk, tripping is normal, but once a child has grown a little older, an increase in tripping usually means some complications in their body. This may be due to the position and function of the hips, knees and feet that make it difficult for a child to walk, which leads to tripping. This can also be caused by weak muscles or flexible joints since they don’t support the body properly.

4. Intoeing

Intoeing is most commonly known as being ‘pigeon toed’ or when the ends of one’s feet point inward. This usually happens in children or toddlers whose leg structures have complications. In order to understand why this happens, it is essential for parents to ask about the development of their child while they are in the womb, during delivery, after delivery, and how they are progressing in their physical development as they grow.

Intoeing can be treated usually through changes to posture, specific exercises, and wearing appropriate shoes.

5. Ingrown Nails

There are different causes why ingrown nails happen. This includes trauma to the nail such as incorrect nail cutting techniques, poor footwear, dropping something heavy on the nail, or the natural shape of the nail.

Though this isn’t common in children, it is still possible and can be quite painful!

Ingrown nails often go hand-in-hand with infection if not treated properly. If your child is complaining about a painful nail, it would be best to have them checked by a podiatrist.

6. Growing Pains

When you watch a child grow, you realise how fast they have grown in a short period of time. Physical changes and growth spurts occurring throughout the early stages of childhood are normal, but can sometimes be painful.

Different parts of the children’s bodies are trying to keep up with each other as they grow and the extremities especially the legs and feet are most prone to pain as kids love to play and explore.

Children who are going through a growth spurt may complain about pain in their legs and feet when they come home from school or during the night.

As parents, we have to make sure that our kids are safe. We can keep them extra safe and when we make sure every bit of them is healthy, like their feet! Above are only some of the possible things that can hinder your child from enjoying a nice day outside. However, if you think your kid’s feet are going through something you aren’t sure about, it’s important that we consult the right medical professionals if we’re concerned about our kid’s health.

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