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5 Common Foot Problems for Kids

Kids can and do have a lot of foot problems. When your child has pain, it may be hard for him or her to articulate the pain to you. “My foot hurts” isn’t the most descriptive way to explain the pain and where it hurts.

Teens have a much easier time expressing their pain and where it’s coming from.

But kids that are not within their teenage years will be difficult to analyze and assess when they have foot problems . A doctor, namely a podiatrist, will be able to identify and correct foot issues. You’ll find child foot pain near the arch is very common.

Arch-related issues are often the root cause of foot pain, so this is a good place to look at first.

1. Flat Feet are Very Common

Your feet are different from your child’s feet, and there’s a chance that they may have been born with flat feet. Children, when they’re first born, will have flat feet because the tissue in the feet and the muscles have yet to fully form.

But, for some people, this formation doesn’t occur fully.

What does this mean? This means that your child will continue through life with flat feet. You can choose to have orthopedic shoe inserts fabricated, but in most cases, no intervention is needed. Professionals have not found a treatment that corrects the arch issues with flat feet, and the orthotics or other potential treatments are only recommended when flat feet are impacting your child’s daily activities.

2. Athlete’s Foot

Kids, and adults, will get athlete’s foot. This is often common in teens, but it does occur in kids younger than their teenage years. The condition will not cause pain, but it will lead to burning or itchiness in many people.

Scaling skin or dry skin are also common symptoms of athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot is an actual fungal infection, and the way it got its name is because athletes are the most common ones that have this condition. The good news is that athlete’s foot is not a serious condition.

But it may be a serious condition for kids that have a weakened immune system or diabetes.

Over-the-counter products are available that can help with athlete’s foot along with natural remedies, such as changing your socks more often and using baby powder to keep the feet dry.

3. Bunions, Corns and Calluses

Bunions are far less common in kids, but they do happen when a child has an issue with their toe’s alignment. Oftentimes, this condition will require a correction of the toe for the bunion pain to be relieved.

Corns and calluses are also possible.

Child foot pain at the top of the foot may be a sign that the child’s shoes are too tight. Bunions can also form because of a shoe that’s too tight, but the shoe will need to be worn over the long-term for the issue to persist.

Calluses and corns are uncomfortable, and they may cause your child foot pain in the bottom of the foot. You have a few options to remove these:

  • Specially formulated products at the store may work
  • Proper moisturizing of the foot
  • Keep the feet dry

If you keep your feet in good health, you’ll be able to avoid many of these issues. Proper foot care  will allow your child to avoid corns, calluses, bunions and the discomfort that all three of these positions present.

Bunionettes are also a cause for concern, and these annoying little bumps will present on the child’s little toe. In a lot of cases, a shoe change, to a larger foot size, will help correct the issue.

4. Foot and Ankle Sprains

A sprain can set a child back if they’re in sports, but they will be able to reenter their normal sports quickly. Some sprains will leave pain and cause a child to change their lifestyle for a week or so. Other sprains can cause a person to have to stay off of their foot for nearly a month.

Minor sprains are most common when sports are no longer in the picture.

Sprains can occur in the:

  • Ankle
  • Foot

Sprains occur when the ligaments that connect to the bone are stretched beyond their normal ability. While this may not be an issue in most kids, for some, this may result in development issues.

Severe sprains can impact development and lead to growth plate fractures in some instances.

Avoiding the activity that led to the sprain may be recommended. The injury ought to be monitored to avoid further injury, and limiting activity for a few days or weeks until the pain subsides is recommended.

Severe strains, where bruising and swelling are present, should be followed by a visit to a doctor.

Fractures, especially in the ankle, are also common and will require the use of a cast to keep the ankle in proper position while it heals.

5. Gait and Foot Alignment

A child’s gait, or the way they walk, may not seem like an issue to some, but depending on how the child moves and walks, their gait may be putting stress on the ankle or feet. You’ll want a podiatrist to analyze your child’s feet if they continue to have unexplained pain.

There may be issues with:

  • Toe walking. This occurs when a child is between the age of 2 and 3, but it also happens to older kids. The condition occurs when the child walks on their toes rather than using the heel to toe pattern that is natural. This can lead to foot, ankle and toe pain. Physical therapy will be recommended to help the child relearn to walk properly.
  • Overpronation. A condition that occurs when the child’s ankle bends inward. You’ll find that this condition leads to the inner portion of shoes wearing out prematurely. You made need insoles that can help correct the pronation. You may also need to have custom orthotics fabricated in an effort to correct the foot from pronating too much.

These are the most common foot-related issues your child will face.


August 30, 2018


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