It's August and back to school time. You're already thinking about buying your kids new clothes, school supplies, and making sure their computer is in good working order.
But have you thought about your kid's feet?
Along with books and a new backpack, your kid's health matters when it comes to school success. If your kid is having foot pain they aren't going to be able to perform well in school, on or off the field.
With over 40 years of practice, the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City is the place to come for a solution to ending your kids foot pain.
In addition, here are the top three steps you can take to prepare your kids feet for school success.
Getting Help for Foot Problems
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.
The most common foot conditions in kids are plantar fasciitis, warts, ingrown toenails, and Sever's disease.
This common problem in adults is also common in older teens, particularly if they play sports that involve running. Think track, basketball, and soccer. If you know your child has had a heel pain injury in the past, bring them in before the school sport's season begins. While some kids will only need an inexpensive insert such as Kidsole, others with flat feet or other faulty foot structure are more likely to need a custom orthotic. See below for shoe purchase recommendations.
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.
Those ugly bumps on the bottom of your kid's feet are most likely warts. Caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), they spread easily and can turn into cluster warts through scratching and bleeding. If your kid has them it's best to catch them early to keep pain at bay. Reminding your kids to check the bottom of their feet a couple times a year is the best prevention. If your child says they have funny calluses or mentions pain when walking make an appointment with a Seattle podiatrist. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, we treat the warts with a topical medication or surgery.
If you've had ingrown toenails it's more likely that your child will get them too. As you know having an ingrown toenail can be extremely painful. If your kid says that have a painful toe, bring them in so we can determine if it's ingrown. Other risk factors in younger children and teens include repetitive activity such as kicking a soccer ball, wearing their shoes too tight, and cutting toenails improperly. Once the problem is there the only way to get rid of it is to make an appointment with your podiatrist. Don't ever try to solve this problem at home as an infection can develop easily.
How to Shop For Kids Shoes
Kids outgrow their shoes very quickly. Getting a good fit is essential for healthy feet. Here's how to shop for kids shoes.
- find a shoe store with knowledgeable sales people
- get their feet measured
- get shoes that feel comfortable immediately
- get shoes that are sturdy
- check wear patterns after purchase
For more details check out my blog, "6 Back-to-School Shopping Tips for Your Kids".
Get A Sport's Physical for Your Little Athlete at Our Office
It's a really good idea to bring in your child before the sport's season starts. We'll check to make sure there aren't any existing foot problems or signs that could cause problems once they're out on the field. We'll watch them walk, look for problems with balance, check for tight calf muscles, and abnormal foot structure. Bring in your kids shoes and we'll check them to make sure they're a good fit and designed for their sport. At that time, we'll also assess the need for orthotics if your child is having heel pain or is at risk for heel pain.
Finally, it's important to replace your kid's shoes after every 500 miles of wear. Worn out shoes won't properly support their feet.
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.