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5 warning signs of foot problems in children

Posted Apr 23 2010 5:50am

Foot pain in children is not something to be taken lightly or ignore. Sometimes it is hard for children to tell their parents when they are having foot troubles. Perhaps the child was born with a foot abnormality so their gait, though abnormal, seems normal to them. Or, a child may feel embarrassed about how their feet appear so they don’t want to bring it up. So, it is very important for parents to keep an eye on children's feet to keep them just as healthy as the rest of their body. Remember these feet have lots of miles ahead of them!!

Here are five things to look out for that might indicate your child is having foot pain or problems.

1. If your child is having trouble keeping up with other children~ If your child frequently lags behind other children in sports or other physical activities this could be due to flat feet causing the leg muscles to tire more easily. The muscles and feet become tired easier because the feet are not functioning as efficiently as they could be.

2. If your child suddenly stops wanting to participate in activities they enjoy~ If your child is suddenly not participating in their favorite activities this could be due to heel pain that is common in children ages 8-14. Heel pain can be caused by repetitive stress that occurs while playing sports. Too much strain can lead to pain and inflammation in the growth plate at the back of your child’s heel.

3. If your child is reluctant to show you their feet~ If a child notices a change in their feet they might be embarrassed or nervous that the change could lead to a trip to the doctors office. Start making it a habit early to check your children's feet for discoloration of the skin or nails, growths, calluses, redness, swelling or ingrown nails. Seek podiatric help for any of these signs of a problem.

4. If your child trips or falls often~ Although children are often clumsy while they are getting used to their body, repeated clumsiness can be a sign of in-toeing, balance problems or neuromuscular conditions.

5. If your child tells you they have foot pain~ Sometimes we get lucky and our children will tell us that their feet hurt. If this happens be thankful and take them to see a podiatrist right away. It is never normal for children to have foot pain and since they are growing all the time foot pain should not go overlooked. If injuries cause pain or swelling for more than a few days see a podiatrist asap.

Even if no symptoms are present and your children don’t complain of foot pain it is a good idea to get a yearly check up to make sure that the feet are growing properly.

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