Posts for tag: Footwear
While it might not be something you think about often (or at all), the health of your child’s feet is important. Your child is growing by leaps and bounds and certain habits and other factors can affect how your child’s feet develop or if they experience injuries or other problems down the road. Unfortunately, a lot of children end up wearing shoes that are far too small for their feet, which can lead to pain, structural imbalances and certain foot deformities.
We know that going shoe shopping is certainly not a walk in the park for most parents; however, it’s an important component to making sure your child maintains healthy feet. There are many things to think about when it comes to picking the right shoes, and your podiatrist can also provide suggestions and tips to make the world of shoe shopping easier for you and your little one.
Some factors that you should consider when shopping for the right shoes include:
- Your child’s age
- The shoe’s material
- Your child’s shoe size
- The shoe’s structure
A good rule of thumb is to shop for shoes every 2 months when your child is between the ages of 1 and 2 years old. Once they reach three and four, you’ll want to purchase new shoes approximately every four months. At the point that your child is five or six years old, every six months is a good time to swap out old shoes for new ones.
As you might already know, the bones of a baby or infant’s feet are soft and haven’t fully developed. To protect your child’s feet it’s important that they wear socks and soft shoes. Make sure that as your child’s feet grow that the toes have room to wiggle and move around within the shoes. Bunched-up toes are a major no-no!
Since your little one is growing by leaps and bounds it is important that you are constantly checking their shoe size for changes. Remember that feet swell throughout the day, so shoe shopping should be done at the end of the day when feet are at their largest. If you aren’t sure what size shoe your little one wears, you can ask one of the store’s footwear specialists for help.
Of course, you can’t forget the importance of choosing the right socks, as well. Socks can prevent your little one from blisters, calluses and other foot problems. They can also wick away sweat and prevent fungal infections. When it comes to choosing the right socks for your little one consider the type of fabric, your child’s activity level, the size of your child’s feet and sensitivities they might have to certain fabrics.
When in doubt, you should talk to a foot doctor who can provide you with advice, answer any questions you might have about your child’s developing feet and also provide comprehensive care, when needed.
Like adults, children and adolescents can experience a variety of foot and ankle problems. Many foot problems, such as flat foot are congenital, while other problems including heel pain or ingrown toenails are usually the result of an injury.
Because of a child’s rapidly growing bones and tendons, however, many confusing symptoms associated with their foot and ankle problems go unnoticed. For this reason, it is important that parents pay attention to subtle symptoms. A thorough examination of your child's feet by a Sammamish podiatrist periodically may detect an underlying defect or condition and help minimize problems later in life.
Common Foot Problems
Children can experience a variety of foot problems, many of which go away as the child’s feet become more developed, such as pigeon toes, flat feet and knock knees. In most cases these congenital foot and leg problems do not require any medical intervention. Other common issues that may warrant a visit to the podiatrist include:
Plantar warts are common in children, especially during warm months when kids are more likely to walk barefoot. Forming on the bottom of the feet, these warts are caused by a virus that enters the skin, most often in public areas such as pools or locker rooms. The condition can be very uncomfortable — like walking on a small pebble or stone—but also highly preventable and treatable.
Ankle sprains are very common foot injuries for active kids, especially those who participate in sports. Sprains occur when the ligaments supporting the ankle are stretched or torn. Mild ankle sprains heal with little treatment, while severe tearing may require more extensive care including extended immobilization followed by physical therapy. As a general rule, rest, ice, compress and elevate the child’s ankle immediately following the injury.
Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of the nail begin to break through and grow into the soft skin of the toe. This can lead to painful irritation and infection. Common causes of ingrown toenails include poor fitting footwear, toe injuries or poor nail trimming. Caught early, a child’s ingrown can be treated at home, but if pain persists or the condition worsens, treatment by a podiatrist is necessary to eliminate the infection.
Choose Proper Footwear
Many pre-existing foot conditions can be relieved and new problems prevented by simply ensuring your child is wearing proper shoes. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, calluses and corns on the toes and heels. Ingrown toenails can also develop and become infected. A child’s feet are constantly growing and developing, so it may be necessary to change shoe size every few months. Additionally, with time shoes have a tendency to lose proper cushioning and arch support. Footwear that shows a lack of shock absorption or wear and tear should also be replaced to reduce the risk for injuries.
If you notice your child limping, constantly rubbing their feet, tripping frequently or consistently complaining of foot pain, then have them examined by your Sammamish podiatrist or physician. Many problems can be easily identified and treated, and early intervention is the key.
Corns are thickened areas of skin that develop in response to excessive pressure and friction. This can occur when one toe rubs repeatedly against another, or when the toes rub against ill-fitting footwear. Typically hard and circular, corns are usually not a serious problem, but can be quite painful if untreated, especially when wearing shoes.
Since corns are often symptoms of underlying problems such as faulty bone structures or abnormal gait, self-treatment should only involve footwear modification. Never attempt to cut or scrape away a corn on your own as this can lead to infection. It’s best to consult Howard Schaengold, DPM first as many times over-the-counter treatments fail to effectively treat the underlying foot disorder and can damage the healthy surrounding skin if used incorrectly.
A podiatrist will assess your corn, determine the cause, and help you determine a treatment plan to manage the pain and eliminate pressure that is causing the corn. These conservative treatments may include padding to prevent pressure, footwear modifications and orthotics to relive stress under the foot. When pain is persistent or conservative treatment isn’t effective, minimally-invasive surgical correction may be recommended to remove the corn or repair the bone structure beneath the corn.
The surgery can often be performed in the doctor's office, the recovery time is brief, and many patients obtain relief within days. Corns always require consultation with an experienced podiatrist at our Sammamish office. When treated early, most corns can be resolved with non-surgical treatments.