Foot and ankle injuries are among the most common injuries in children. Yet it is hard for many parents to know when a child is experiencing foot pain and when to visit a podiatrist. A podiatrist is a health professional who can identify and treat the feet, ankle toes, toenails and the leg as a whole. If you are a parent and don’t know much about feet pains, here are five signs that your child needs to visit a podiatrist.
1. Difficulty When Playing Games or Sports
Children are always energetic. As soon as they start walking, they are jumping, running and engaging in all kinds of games. If your kid has difficulty when playing with other kids, this could be a warning sign. If your kid voids activities that involve running, jumping, dancing and does do not like to participate in light physical activities, he or she may be having a foot and ankle sprain and fracture. What should you do? Take the child to a kids’ foot doctor. Foot doctors will help treat the problem before it evolves to a serious issue that could be difficult or too expensive to treat.
2. Foot Pain and Discomfort
Is your child complaining of foot pain or discomfort? Well, it could be a serious issue, which could be as a result of flat feet or improper shoe. But before you jump into conclusion, check if removing their shoe will help get rid of the pain. If the pain persists, it is time to see a podiatrist.
3. Unnatural Walking and Standing Behaviors
Observe your child when he or she is walking, standing or doing any physical activity. Do you notice any unnatural behavior? If you observe any the following behaviors, make sure you visit a podiatrist:
• Bowed legs
• Constant toe walking or tiptoeing
• Flat feet
• Constant shifts from one foot to the other when standing
• Toes turned in when walking or standing
If you observe any of these signs, you should see a podiatrist immediately. A podiatrist will examine your child and identify any issues that may need to be addressed to prevent foot sprains and fractures.
4. Toenail Problems
When was the last time you checked your child’s toenails? It was a long time ago, right? Toenails are very small and can easily be ignored. But toenail can also cause chronic foot problems that require podiatrist’s attention and treatment. For this reason, make sure you examine your child’s toenails regularly. If the toenails are infected or ingrown, visit the podiatrist near you. The same goes for thickened, weak or oddly-shaped toenails since this could be a sign of a fungal infection.
5. Curled Toes
Curled toes or claw toes are linked to tight tendon and they can make walking painful. In some cases, curled toes often improve without treatment as the child grows up. However, if your child is over the age of five and has curled toes, it is advisable that you take your child to the physician. A competent physician will help you fix the curled toes and prevent foot pains.
6. Prolonged Foot or Lower Limb Injury
Many feet and leg injuries can be fixed using home treatments like cold therapy and rest. However, others could evolve to more serious problems that need the attention and treatment by a reliable podiatrist. If your child has a prolonged foot injury, it is quite important to consider taking him to the specialist for further examination.
Warts are other problems commonly experienced by children. Warts often attack the feet and are usually caused by the HPV (Human Papillomavirus). While warts are typically less harmful, they can cause sore feet in children and also lead to serious problems that can cause foot pain and fractures. Warts can also intensify foot pain, especially when walking. If your kid has warts, take them to a podiatrist. The podiatrist may recommend various creams or medication that can help get rid of these warts.
8. Corn Or Callus
Corn or callus rank among the top five reasons why people go to a podiatrist. Corn or callus can cause foot pain and other serious feet problems if they get too thick. A podiatrist will give your child some medications that reduce corn or callus and help the skin around their feet heal.
9. Child Complaining of Feet Hurting
Does your child complain of tired or bruised legs? Do they wake up in the middle of the night with pain? Sore legs could stem from walking issues, misalignment, flat feet and other podiatry problems. If your child complains of tired or bruised legs, take him or her to a podiatrist as soon as possible. The podiatrist will identify and fix the problem as well as recommend exercises that will help restore coordination quickly.
There you have it — these are the signs that your child needs to visit a podiatrist. Even if your child does not exhibit any the symptoms highlighted above, a visit to foot specialist can be beneficial. A children's podiatrist can identify problems that you may not notice and address them early enough.
About the author: Riya is an inspired writer. With spending her years in marketing communication, Riya is delightful to work with small business owners. Riya also works as a content marketing team behind Moving Forward Podiatry, a qualified podiatrist based in Brisbane. Connect with Riya here, @sanderriya.