When it comes to tracking down the source of children’s foot health problems, parents sometimes have to be super sleuths. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we know that children are not always able to articulate specifically what is bothering them and, of course, who hasn’t had a child who tries to get out of going to school with a made-up ailment as their excuse?
Below are some suggestions for teasing out foot problems:
Take a Look—if your child doesn’t want to show you his or her feet, it may be that they hurt or have noticed something not right about their feet but are afraid of a trip to the foot doctor. Once you are able to examine your child’s feet, check for the following:
Swelling, or unusual lumps, bumps or bruises.
Calluses, corns or blisters—these indicate friction or pressure being applied to an area of the foot.
Skin or nail discoloration, rashes, nail deformities. Check around nail beds for redness and heat which may indicate an ingrown toenail.
Watch the Walk—notice if your child is walking or running awkwardly. Does his or her gait appear stilted? Are feet turning inward or outward? Do the ankles seem to be giving way frequently? Does your child seem to be tripping or falling more often?
The Play’s the Thing—changes in activity level and play habits may also be a tip off that there is a foot or ankle issue. If your child seems to be lagging behind their friends when playing games or sports or if your child appears disinterested in doing activities and playing active games with friends that they have previously enjoyed, it may be an indication of foot pain.
Of course, if your child complains of pain, that’s an obvious sign that it’s time to contact our Somers Point office (609-927-4894) to make an appointment. Our podiatrist Dr. Paul S. DeMarco will conduct a comprehensive foot and ankle exam, get your child’s medical history and ask questions about recent activities. In addition, the foot doctor may want to check the wear pattern of your child’s shoes so have them wear or bring a pair to the office that they use frequently. Together, you and the podiatrist will figure out what the foot problem is and get your child on the road to recovery.