Although the problems are not always obvious, your child could have foot problems that need to be treated by a podiatrist. Foot problems in children are difficult to pick up on since their gait is naturally different from an adult gait. Even walking on the toes all the time can be normal in very young children.
Plus, kids aren't always able to articulate a problem or the fact they have pain with certain activities. If you suspect your child has a foot problem, you should take him or her to a podiatrist for a wellness check. Here are three reasons to take your child in for an examination.
1. Your Child's Shoes Wear Down Unevenly
If your child has a favorite pair of shoes they wear to school almost daily, check the bottom for signs of wear. If your child has a foot roll, it might show up with one side of the heel being more worn down than the other. When your child's foot rolls toward the inside, it's called pronation.
This condition is associated with flat feet. Pronation causes a variety of problems because it throws the entire motion of the foot out of balance. This could lead to tiring easily and delay in motor skills.
If your child tends to sit on the sidelines or gets muscle fatigue when playing sports before other kids do, then you may want to consider if a foot problem is the cause. A trip to a podiatrist can help you identify pronation, and the podiatrist can treat it with an orthotic insert or brace that improves your child's gait and supports the foot to keep it from rolling.
2. Your Child Hates to Wear Shoes
Young kids commonly resist wearing shoes, but if your child cries and becomes upset when wearing shoes, it could be a sign of a foot problem. Choosing the right size for your child's shoes is important, so the first step is to have shoes fitted by a professional.
If your child still resists wearing shoes, it might be due to foot pain. You can gently squeeze your child's feet to see if that triggers a pain response. If so, your child might have a foot injury or abnormality.
Your child can develop an overuse injury due to an abnormal gait that leaves some muscles underdeveloped and some muscles overworked. A podiatrist can study your child's gait to determine if it's causing problems. The podiatrist can also check the feet and toes for signs of inflammation, injury, and medical conditions.
Your child could possibly have a tiny foot fracture that you don't know about. Young kids don't always state they have pain. Instead, they act out in various ways, and refusing to wear shoes could be a signal of foot pain or discomfort.
3. You Want to Rule Out Foot Problems Early
You don't have to wait to see a podiatrist until your child has foot pain, muscle weakness, a wart, or an injury. You should take your child to a podiatrist for a check up to rule out foot problems early. Correcting foot problems in young kids is easier than it is in adulthood.
Kids have more pliable bones, so the foot structure can be altered while they're still growing. If you have a family history of gait problems or other foot disorders, it's even more important to take your child to a podiatrist so early treatment can begin. By correcting foot conditions in childhood, you may be able to spare your child from chronic foot problems as an adult.
Visit Greenville Podiatry Associates PA if you want your child's feet examined by a professional. We can treat a foot condition or injury, if found, so your child can stay active and develop normally without foot pain.