Pediatric foot problems are more common than you might think. Being active, children are just as likely to develop foot problems as some adults. However, because children are still growing, their foot problems are more urgent and need to be taken care of as soon as possible. Delaying treatment can end up stunting physical activity and lead to a delay in certain motor skills. Keep an eye out for the following three common pediatric foot problems in your child.
1. Plantar Warts
Children are prone to plantar warts because they are often in environments where this contagious condition can spread, like public swimming pools, summer camp and daycare bathrooms. Plantar warts can look like one or more tiny black dots, typically on the sole of the foot. They can be uncomfortable when weight is put on them. If you notice your child favors one foot over the other, check for the black dots and bring your child to your pediatric podiatrist if you see anything.
2. Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails can occur at any age, even on newborn babies. They’re common with children because children might pick at their toenails. They can also develop from poorly fitting shoes. Another cause is from improper trimming of toenails. Whatever the cause, they can lead to pain and infection if not treated. Ingrown toenails commonly cause redness and inflammation around the site. They may be painful to the touch. Talk to your child’s podiatrist to book an appointment if you suspect this problem.
3. Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that comes from wearing damp socks and/or shoes. It appears like flaky, red or white skin in between the toes and on the soles of the feet. Since children are so active, their feet are more likely to be sweaty more often than an adult’s foot. Athlete’s foot isn’t fatal, but it can become very painful and advanced if not treated. If you suspect that your child has athlete’s foot, you can try using an over the counter powder that is designed to kill the fungus. Make a point of changing your child’s socks often, and spray their shoes with the fungicide after use. If the athlete’s foot proves too stubborn for home treatment, don’t hesitate to contact your podiatrist for professional treatment options.
One more, little known children’s foot problem has to do with baby fat. Many youngsters and toddlers have fat on the tops of their feet that make it pretty impossible to have the child wear shoes. If this is the case with your child, don’t worry about it. Children don’t need to wear shoes until they can walk. It’s best not to try to force baby shoes on your child before then. Doing so can lead to feet growth abnormalities that are entirely preventable.
Your child’s feet health is important for their overall development. If you notice any of the above signs of problems please get in touch with our office for advice and treatment help. Never let your child’s feet problems go untreated. Rarely do they go away on their own. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s feet, please contact us. We’re here to help!