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What to Look for in Your Children’s Feet

As a parent, and especially if you’re a new one, it can be tough to know if something your child is experiencing is an actual problem, or simply part of growing up. We also understand that knowing the difference between signs and symptoms of temporary issues from ones that point to more serious concerns is difficult. Now, it won’t be long before fall is here and everyone transitions back to routines of school, sports, and other activities, so let’s take a look at children’s foot care and some common problems you should know.

To start with, it’s worth noting that many child foot problems do actually resolve themselves over time, especially as your child grows. For example, the most common source of child and adolescent heel pain is a condition known as Sever’s disease. Contrary to the name, this is not actually a disease, but rather a problem that arises when the heel bone grows more quickly than the Achilles tendon anchored to it. While there is a discrepancy between the growth rates, your child may have heel pain (especially if he or she is physically active). When the Achilles tendon reaches physical maturity, though, the problem disappears.

What to look for in your children's feet

Something else that is worth noting is the fact that children are not always the most forthcoming about problems. Your son or daughter may very well have a foot or ankle issue, but does not want to say anything about it. As such, you need to know what to look for with regards to your child’s feet.

Common child foot problems range from toe walking, in-toeing, pediatric flatfoot, and high arches to tarsal coalitions, juvenile bunions, and sports injuries. While these various conditions and their respective treatments are different, they do share some common signs that show parents there’s a problem to be resolved. These include things like:

  • Pain, swelling, and redness that does not subside, and especially if these symptoms worsen with activity
  • Development of thick calluses in one area of the foot, as this can indicate a biomechanical problem causing too much force to be placed in that area
  • Problems with your child’s gait pattern (how he or she walks)
  • Ankles that are weak or easily give out
  • Shins or thighbones that appear to turn inward

Checking with your child—and observing his or her feet, ankles, and legs—goes a long way towards catching problems at their earliest, most-treatable stages. For more information on child foot care, or to request an appointment with our Chicago office (located conveniently on W. Archer in Garfield Ridge), simply call (773) 586-0050 or take advantage of our online contact form.

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