Children are susceptible to many of the same foot disorders as adults. Some that we treat fairly often at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM include: warts, flat feet, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, Sever’s disease, turf toe and chronic ankle pain. In many cases, children end up with foot ailments because of their habits and lifestyle. As parents you can help prevent many common foot issues by taking a few simple precautions.
4 Ways to Protect Young Feet
- Keep it clean--good hygiene can go a long way toward heading of many foot concerns, especially those caused by fungi and bacteria. Be sure to wash feet daily with warm water and a gentle soap. Once children are old enough, teach them how to properly scrub the top and bottom of their feet and use a nail brush for toenails.
- Do inspections—regardless of your child’s age, periodically check his or her feet. Look for changes in the skin or nails as well as any unusual bumps or redness. Check for ingrown toenails and also that if there are any cuts or blisters that they are clean and show no signs of infection. If you do see something that is concerning, let our podiatrist, Paul S. DeMarco, DPM examine your child’s feet. Most foot conditions are more easily treated if caught in the early stages.
- Check for growth—if you’re a parent you know how fast children’s feet can grow. Shoes that are too small can cause a multitude of foot problems and pain. There should be at least a half inch of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Be sure that your child spends most of their time in well-made shoes that provide good arch support. Limit time in flip flops. Also, if they are serious about a sport, buy shoes that are specifically designed for the sport they play.
- Limit barefoot time—kids love going barefoot, especially now that that summer has arrived. Exposed feet, however are much more susceptible to injury and infections which are spread by direct contact.
Children are not always the best at communicating or articulating foot problems. If you suspect something is wrong, contact our Somers Point office for an appointment by calling: (609) 927-4894.