In regards to the development and growth of any child, the legs and feet are known to develop at a rapid pace. Because of this, there are a number of common foot issues that parents should be aware of. If you are wondering what you should know about your growing child’s feet, it is best to look to the help of a trained podiatrist.
What To Look For
Kids can go through a number of foot-related issues, including tippy-toeing, bowed legs, ingrown toenails, flat feet, delayed walking, plantar warts, clumsiness, pigeon toeing, and much more. Parents have to understand not only how to identify an issue but also how to care for their child’s feet as they are growing. Working with a professional podiatrist will help give you the insight that you need to get started so that your child will not be delayed in terms of development and growth.
One of the more common milestones your child will go through is walking and taking those important first steps. Every child will develop at a pace that is unique, with walking starting at varying ages. Many kids will take initial steps around nine to twelve months while some will not start walking until a bit later. However, if you notice that child is not walking by around 15 to 16 months, you need to think about having an assessment done.
Some children have the tendency to develop abnormal walking patterns including tip-toe walking, in-toeing, and out-toeing. Whenever there is an abnormal pattern detected, your child should be assessed by a podiatrist.
It is crucial that your child starts to wear the appropriate footwear to facilitate walking as they get older. Once your child starts to take first steps, you need to be sure that you have shoes that are:
- Fitted Properly – Shoes that are too short or narrow can lead to abnormal pressure to the foot bones. Shoes that are too long or broad can lead to claw-toes or tripping.
- Adjustable – Shoes that are adjustable will help secure the shoe to the foot properly and allows for flexibility as your child’s feet grow.
- Firm Heel Cup – This will aid in foot support. You should have sandals that include a closed back and there should never be the ability to squeeze together the sides of the shoe in the back.
- Ball Of Foot Bending – The shoe should bend easiest at the base of the toes, not in the middle under the arch.
- Lightweight – The heavier that any shoe is, the more difficult it will be for the feet and legs to work.
There can be a variety of problems that develop that should be addressed sooner than later. If you start to notice your child having issues listed, making an appointment with your podiatrist will get you on the right track for treatment.
Changes In Arch Height
There are times when feet may have an arch without being weight bearing, then appear to have a loss of arch height when in the standing position. Known as functional flat feet, this can lead to the eventual damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This may allow the bone to move in a variety of directions that they are not otherwise designed to.
Younger children may have flat feet that go undetected for quite some time due to the structure of their feet. As they grown, the arch of the foot should be more obvious. Flat feet is a condition where the arch comes into contact with a portion of the ground that is more prominent than normal. This may also be called pes planus, pronation, fallen arches or rolled-in feet.
There are some children that will have what is know as rear foot pronation or rolled-in ankles. This is when the ankles seem to tip inward when looking at the child from behind. Some of the signs that a child has this condition are morning stiffness, reluctance to walk, asking to be carried, complaints of tired feet and legs, and an unusual pattern on their shoes.
Many other foot and lower limb issues that your podiatrist can help with include:
- Ingrown toenails
- Callouses or corns
- Differences in leg length
- Knock knees
- Slow to walk
- Growing pains
- Bow legs
- Poor balance
- Lowered muscle tone
- Warts and more
No matter what you are noticing when it comes to the development of your child’s feet and legs, you can look to the help of Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic. We have a team of professionals that will be happy to perform an assessment to make sure that your child has the care and treatment necessary to grow and develop in a strong manner.
When it comes to your child and their feet, you want to know that everything is progressing as it should be. Contact Mill Creek Foot & Ankle Clinic today to learn more about what you should know about your child’s growing feet. Dr. Hall can be reached at (425)482-6663