Dr. Berg's Foot Facts

Posts for category: children's foot care

boy and girls sitting on a couch dangling their feetYou're a parent with school age children. Normally this time of year is filled with days of shopping for school supplies, back packs, and new clothes for your kids. But this isn't a normal time. You hesitate to go shopping at a store for fear of exposing yourself and your children unnecessarily to Covid-19. In addition, you're scrambling to figure out how you're going to work at home and monitor your kids school work all at the same time.

Instead you're likely turning to the internet to make your purchases. And that includes new shoes for your kids. Normally I tell parents it's best to go to a store to buy their kids shoes. But I know many of you are going to feel more comfortable ordering them online.

Here are the best ways to make sure your kids get a good fit.

Getting the Right Size

The most important part of getting the right shoe is finding the correct size. In a shoe store, the salesperson would typically use a Brannock device to get the correct length and width of your child's foot.

At home you'll need to do the measuring yourself. Be sure to do it later in the day when feet tend to swell. The Healthy Feet Store has a video that demonstrates how to do it using paper, pen, and a ruler. They also provide a size guide. Stride Rite also has a guide for measuring your kid's feet.

Once you order the shoes, check fit by making sure there's at least one thumb's width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe. If you find that one foot is larger than the other, you'll need to buy the larger size.

Buy Shoes That Feel Comfortable

Comfort is just as important as fit. Keep in mind that shoes should not require a "break-in" period. If your child says they're uncomfortable, return them.

Select A Good, Sturdy Shoe
Your kids might want shoes that are stylish, but fashion should take a back seat to stability. Shoes should have a stiff heel counter (the part of the shoe that goes around the backside of the heel) and a rigid midsole area. The shoe should only bend at the toes and not under the arch. In addition, shoes should be difficult to twist (wring out like a rag). To get a better idea of what this looks like, you can view our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

Finally, keep in mind shoe brands create all kinds of styles from the very sturdy to the very sloppy and everything in between. Buying a particular brand that was sturdy in the past will not guarantee another style in that brand will deliver the same stability. Read the descriptions thoroughly to ensure you're getting what you want and test the shoes once they arrive.

Stick With the Tried And True

You found a brand that works well for your kid. Stick with it. Brands tend to remain consistent in how they're built. That will benefit you once you've found one that fits well.

Buy The Right Shoe for Your Child's Activity

Sturdiness is one factor in helping your kid's feet stay healthy. Sports shoes are also designed specifically to prevent foot and ankle injuries for a particular sport. Make sure you purchase soccer shoes for soccer, running shoes for running and so on. This is particularly important as your kids get older and play becomes rougher.

Avoid Hand-Me-Downs or Used Shoes
Buy Nothing Groups are all the rage these days. Particularly now during the pandemic when we're trying to save some money and avoid thrift stores. While you may feel tempted to grab those cute kid's clothes from your neighbors, avoid it with your kids shoes. Shoes wear down and take on the wear pattern of the user. Loss of support and function occur as a result.  Sharing shoes can also spread infections such as warts or fungus from one child to another.

Is your child experiencing foot pain? Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

As a parent you're always making sure your child is healthy and safe. From the time they're born throughout elementary school you make sure to take them for regular check-ups, get them the vaccinations they need, and provide car seats, bike helmets, and other safety gear as they venture out into the world.

Along the way you may have brought them to a podiatrist if they had pain in their toes due to an ingrown toenail or perhaps they had strange bumps on the bottom of their feet that turned out to be warts.

You may also have noticed more subtle issues with the way your child walks that don't seem quite right but you thought they'd grow out of. While there are some things that will resolve as your child gets older this isn't always the case.

One of the conditions that kids won't outgrow is developmental flat foot or flexible flat foot. While flat feet in toddlers are normal, if they remain flat past the age of five it's important to have their feet evaluated by a pediatric podiatrist. Why is that so important?

Here are five reasons flat feet can be problematic for your child now and in the future.

Kids with Flat Feet Can Have Trouble Keeping Up with Their Peers

When your kid has flat feet their foot biomechanics are out of balance. This can make it difficult for them to walk, run, and keep up with other children their age. At a time when children are learning how to play and socialize foot problems can hold them back if they can't keep up with their peers.

Kids with Flat Feet May Trip and Fall More Easily

Your child may want to keep up with others but their flat feet can make this difficult as they will likely have more problems with coordination. An unbalanced gait can cause them to trip and fall more easily.

Kids with Flat Feet May Withdraw from Sports Activities

Because your child may have problems running or keeping up with others, they are more likely to withdraw from sport activities that they would otherwise love to be part of.

Flat Feet Can Lead to Future Foot Problems

Flat feet in your child can lead to future foot problems such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, and hammertoes. Very likely if your child has flat feet you do too since flat feet are inherited. If you've experienced any of these foot problems you understand why prevention is so important.

Flat Feet Can Cause Future Musculoskeletal Issues

You may also have experienced musculoskeletal issues such as low back, knee, and hip pain if you have flat feet. Your child will likely experience them also.  

So what can you do to help your kids?

Don't ignore the warning signs of flat feet. Bring your kids to a pediatric podiatrist to be evaluated as soon as possible.

What your podiatrist can do

A pediatric podiatrist will evaluate your child's feet and the way they walk to determine if they'll benefit from kids orthotics. At our office we provide specially designed kids orthotics called Little Steps for younger children. These orthotics are very affordable and will correct their foot imbalances, normalize their gait, and allow them to move like other kids. If needed, older children will be fit with custom orthotics.  For more information check out the video I've made about these orthotics.

If you've noticed any of these problems in your child, make an appointment today at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City by calling us at 206-368-7000. When necessary we treat your child to prevent them from developing foot problems and physical problems in the future.

We can often appoint the same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

For more information about foot and ankle problems, download our eBook, "No More Foot Pain".

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

By Dr. Rion Berg
September 07, 2018
Tags: warts   ingrown toenails   in-toeing   out-toeing  

With your kids just starting back to school, it's important to be aware of potential foot problems they may have so they get off to the right start. Kids can't learn or play with other kids when they're in pain. And for kids who play soccer or other sports, foot pain is a non-starter.

Foot problems are not always obvious. Pain is not the only indicator that something might be wrong. Your kids may shy away from playing with their friends or avoid showing you their feet. A child that frequently trips and falls can also have a foot issue.

Other things you may see in a child under five are toe-walking, in-toeing and out-toeing, and flat feet. In a child age six or older you may hear them complain of knee, shin, or ankle pain or you may observe poor posture or knocked knees.

Painful Foot Conditions In Kids

When your kids have foot pain, it's time to bring them in to your Seattle podiatrist. Here are the most common children's foot problems that cause pain.

Ingrown Toenails
Kids can develop ingrown toenails any time of year but they are more prone to develop them in the fall. Why?

With school starting kids are back in closed-toed shoes and playing sports. Wearing shoes that are too short and repetitive trauma through kicking are the main culprits for developing an ingrown toenail.

Fortunately ingrown toenails can usually be resolved in one or two office calls through a short surgical procedure. Prevention of this foot problem includes purchasing new shoes for kids in a timely fashion and cutting their toenails straight across.

Warts
Children and especially teenagers are more susceptible to warts than adults. Warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). They are harmless but can be painful when found on the bottom of your kid's feet. Warts can spread easily to other parts of their body and to other kids through sharing clothing and towels. They're often treated with a topical medication or surgery. To prevent warts kids should avoid sharing towels with other kids or their siblings if they are already affected.

Plantar Fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis caused by flat feet it's not uncommon for your kids to suffer from this type of heel pain as well. Flat feet are inherited and the tendency to develop plantar fasciitis as a result is common.

Kids who don't outgrow their flat feet by ages four or five have a condition called developmental or pediatric flatfoot. They will have flat feet for the rest of their lives. To prevent plantar fasciitis and other conditions that result from flat feet, kids as young as four or five can be fitted with specially designed orthotics called Little Steps®. Older children will eventually need custom orthotics to keep their feet in proper alignment.

Sever's Disease
Another cause of heel pain in children is Sever's Disease. Muscle strain and inflamed heel tissue result when the heel plate is not fully closed (common in pre-adolescents and adolescents). Participation in sports adds stress to this part of the foot. Reduction of activity and custom orthotics will help greatly with this condition.

Frieberg's Disease
Injury to the growth plate in the ball of the foot is the cause of Frieberg's Disease. Girls are three times more likely to develop this condition than boys. Running and other activities can make the pain worse. Left untreated this condition can cause painful arthritis. Non-surgical treatment of this condition includes a combination of non-weight bearing, orthotics, wearing rocker bottom shoes, and stretching.

If your child is experiencing foot pain or your concerned about how they're walking, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Your free foot book "No More Foot Pain" is waiting to be sent to your home.

In addition, our newsletter "Foot Sense" comes out monthly.  You can also check out our past issues. Every issue contains a mouth-watering recipe and can be printed out for easier reading!

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

 

Everywhere you look parents and kids are flocking to the mall for back to school shopping. Shoes are often at the top of the list. Kid's feet have likely gotten bigger after summer break and shoes are worn out after all the summertime activities such as camp and summer trips.

If you're one of those parents, you could probably use some help picking the best shoes for your kids. 

Here are my 5 top guidelines for back-to-school shoe shopping:

1. Select a shoe store with knowledgeable sales people
You have a lot of choice when it comes to shopping for kid's shoes. Although it may seem like a good idea to save some money and go to a discount shoe store, it's not. Choose a shoe store with knowledgeable sales people who will ensure your kids gets shoes that fit properly.  

2. Get Their Feet Measured
Since kids feet can go through a big growth spurt during the summer, make sure to get their feet measured. Shoes should have at least one thumb's width between the tip of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

If your kid has one foot that's longer than the other, go with the size of the longer foot. In some cases you might have to buy two pairs of shoes to ensure proper fit if there is a big discrepancy between sizes, but this is rare.

3. Go For Immediate Comfort
Your kids should not be wincing as they put the shoes on and walk around in them. Shoes should be immediately comfortable. Shoes should never require a break-in period.

4. Make Sure Shoes Are Sturdy
Avoid ballet flats and tennis shoes that roll up like mush. These shoes will not provide the support your kids feet need to ensure proper foot alignment. This is particular true if your kid has flat feet and is older than four. Kids with flat feet are at higher risk for future foot problems, back, and hip pain if they wear shoes that don't provide proper support. Test shoes before you buy them by checking out my video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

5. Check the Wear Patterns of Your Kids Shoes
Once you've bought the shoes, it's important to stay vigilant when it comes to your kid's feet. One thing you can do is check the wear patterns of their shoes. If they're wearing out unevenly, it could be due to a foot problem. Taking them to see a podiatrist to ensure that there's not an underlying foot problem is the best thing to do.

Call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home or sent by email.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

Each year more than 200,000 kids get injured at playgrounds. Recently, a youngster broke his foot while playing on an old fashioned merry-go-round at a playground in England. Although merry-go-rounds have gone out of fashion there are parks that still have them.

While I couldn't find specific statistics on foot injuries at playgrounds, here are some ways to protect your kids from foot and ankle injuries.

Playground Surfaces
No playground surface will stop a foot or ankle injury. However, there are better surfaces that can make fall injuries less likely.

  • Avoid playgrounds that have asphalt, concrete, blacktop, grass or soil. These materials wear out more quickly and are less likely to cushion a kid's fall.

  • Find playgrounds with safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials or loosely packed materials.

  • Make sure the cushioned surface extends at least six feet around the base of the equipment.

Teach Your Kids the Rules Around Playground Equipment
Kids need to learn how to play appropriately with playground equipment and with other kids who are sharing it.

  • Teach kids to land on their feet with their knees slightly bent.

  • Kids should always go down slides feet first.

  • Tell kids to take turns on equipment to avoid collisions.

Avoid Unsafe Playground Equipment
In addition to the merry-go-round here is a list of other unsafe playground equipment.

  • Monkey bars

  • Exercise rings and trapeze bars

  • Swinging ropes that can fray or unravel

Purchase Supportive Footwear
Children should wear supportive footwear to decrease the chance of twisting an ankle or getting a puncture wound.

  • Kids should never wear flip flops or other open shoes at a playground.

  • Purchase shoes that are supportive; cannot easily twist like a rag, fold only at the toes and not at the middle, and have a firm heel counter. View our video "How to Test Any Shoe for Stability".

  • Shoes should be comfortable as soon as your child puts them on. The need to "break them in" often indicates a poor fit.

Source: Adapted from Kids Health

If your child has a foot or ankle injury, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment. Often same day for emergencies and less than 2 weeks for chronic foot pain. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

Follow Dr. Berg on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+