As a parent and a podiatrist, I am acutely aware of my little Lauren June’s feet. The most common conditions you may notice in your own child include flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs, and knock-knees. All these conditions are normally seen within the first years on your child’s life. Some of these conditions will correct themselves without treatment, while others may need some corrective comprehensive treatment plans.
- Flatfeet, when a child does not develop an arch,are often confused with “weak ankles”. A flatfoot is most commonly seen in babies because our arch develops as we grow.
- Toe Walking, when a child walks on the ball of his or her foot instead of heel first, is another condition I see a lot in children, especially toddlers. The treatment need will depend on the severity of toe walking. After age 2, if the child continues to walk on their toes consistently, they should be evaluated by a podiatrist because this can cause the calf muscles to become weak. In severe cases, we may choose to cast the foot and ankle for approximately 9 weeks, which helps to stretch the calf muscles and correct the toe walking.
- Pigeon Toed occurs when your child is walking with their feet turned inward. When most toddlers learn how to walk, they will turn their feet slightly inward when they stand. This is common and they should out grow the condition. If you notice that they have a severe inward turn please consult a podiatrist or click here to make an appointment at HFAA.
- Bowleggedness, occurs when the legs bend outwards from the knees down. This is an inherited trait and is common in infants. While this condition normally corrects itself, if one leg is worse than the other, or if the bowleggedness gets worse, consult a podiatrist.
- Knock-Knees, a condition where the knees touch but the ankles do not, is commonly seen in children during the natural alignment shift stage, generally ages 3-6. While most conditions are quickly outgrown and don’t require treatment, severe conditions do require corrective treatment.
Children with strong, healthy feet avoid many kinds of lower extremity problems later in life. That's why it is important to inspect your children's feet periodically. If you notice anything unusual about your child’s feet, if they start to complain of pain, or if you just have questions, give our office a call at 309.661.9975!