As parents we all want the best for our children. Every child is unique and so every child develops at a different rate and should only be assessed on a case by case basis. While there are milestones with walking and running the developing foot is a complex structure.
Children should never be in pain or limp when active. They should also be able to keep up with their peers during normal activities. If children are often tripping or falling, we recommend regular assessment of their feet along with walking and running patterns. We’ll also assess their shoes to identify potential problems and reduce any possible long term impact.
We’ve listed and discussed the major foot conditions we see and treat in children below:
Rolled in/out feet
Feet that turn in or out when walking or running can be part of normal development. We believe it is best to review if only 1 foot is affected or the condition is not improving over time.
Severs' Disease (Heel pain)
If your child experiences pain around the back of the heel bone, particularly after rest and activity, this could be the result of the Achilles tendon irritating the growth plate in the heel bone.
Babies are born with flat feet. It takes time to develop strength in their muscles and ligaments to form proper foot posture. Arches should start developing by aged 4, and be fully developed by aged 10.
There are three common factors that may cause turning out of the feet. These are external rotation of the hips, external leg rotation, flattening of the feet. There may also be some lesser factors such as twisting of the femur and conditions such as Legg-Calve-Perthes and Cererbral Palsy.
There are three main factors that cause turning in of the feet. These are internal rotation of the hips, internal leg rotation, metatarsus adductus (curving of the feet).
Throughout development, some children continue to walk on their toes. This can lead to shortening of the calf muscles, balance and postural problems plus difficulty wearing shoes.
The unusual bending of the lesser toes, sometimes under or over neighbouring toes can sometimes resolve with development. However, this condition often responds successfully to simple taping and soft splints.
Common in teenagers, this painful condition causing redness, swelling and infection. Ingrown toenails can be a result of genetics, disease, trauma, poor cutting technique, or footwear. If left too long, surgery may be required to successfully remove part of the nail. Less painful treatments can be performed if we see this condition during its early phase.
A growth caused by a strain of the human papilloma virus (HPV). It is contagious and can easily spread. Warts may become painful if hard skin builds up around it.
Callous and Corns
Not very common in children due to the properties of young skin. The thickening of the skin on the foot is the body's way of protecting the internal structures from pressure and damage.
Smelly, Sweaty Feet
Sweat creates an environment that promotes bacteria and fungus growth, which can damage the integrity of skin and nails. The smell is usually skin debris broken down by the bacteria. If your child has this condition, we can help treat and prevent it.
A fungal infection of the skin causing red, dry, flaking skin, usually between the toes or on the soles or sides of the feet. These infections can become itchy and painful.
We can provide effective treatment options, creams and prevention strategies.
These usually develop on the outer layer of skin to protect an area from repeated friction and force. Blisters present as a pocket of clear, or blood filled fluid, depending on the depth of skin irritation.
If left unchecked, blisters can become painful and infected.