Giving Your Kids the Keys to Success
As parents, we want the best for our children. It’s only natural. This takes many forms. We want our children to be healthy in a number of ways and want the best possible education, friends, and health for our kids. Of course, we can’t hand-hold them to the desired outcome; there’s a lot to be said for letting your kids achieve things on their own and meet their own successes and failures.
Without trial and shortcoming, how are they supposed to learn how to problem solve? A parent could for instance, give their children $100 every week for allowance. But this completely denies them the opportunity to teach their kid about the value of hard work, budgeting, and saving.
Likewise, you can’t hold your child’s hand while you lead them to a healthy life. You can only encourage them along the away. If you rigorously regiment your children’s eating habits, for instance, they’re much more likely to binge on sugar and junk food at the first sign of freedom.
It’s much better to let them learn how to control their appetite around unhealthy foods while still letting them enjoy a little bit here and there. This is the same principle that allows ‘cheat days’ to be such a successful practice for athletes and those trying to lose weight.
In this same vein, you can’t FORCE your children to have an extremely disciplined and healthy relationship with their foot care, but you can start them out on ‘the right foot,’ so to speak. There are a few life lessons you can teach them along the way that will give them a solid foundation for their future endeavors while still letting them achieve success on their own.
What do we mean by that? Well, read on- we’ll be exploring some great ways to encourage both life and podiatric success with your children!
How Foot Care improves Quality of Life
Self-care is probably one of the best and most rudimentary skills a person could learn. It’s much easier to stay at a healthy weight than it is to lose an unhealthy amount of weight, even with the best workout plan, trainer, and resolve.
Using podiatry as an example, you could come see us if you have a diabetic wound and we’d be happy to help. However, it’s much more efficient and effective for you to take care of your feet as you go. (We, of course, are happy to offer any diabetic foot care tips or plans as you need them)
Likewise, some good quality foot care for your children will pay dividends for them later and, if you do it right, actually be fun. Here are a few prime examples.
Encourage physical activity
Staying active is a great habit to fall into; your children’s overall health, mood, and satisfaction will increase with regular, fun physical activity. This is great for your overall health, but it’s also good for your feet. Healthy circulation minimizes your risk of diabetes and fungal toenails.
Of course, there are some considerations to ensure that your children have the correct type of physical activity. Your kids may LOVE cross country, but could find themselves afflicted by sharp pain in their heels when they first stand up in the morning.
This is almost certainly a result of plantar fasciitis, a common overuse injury among runners and other athletes. As a parent, you’re in the sticky situation of watching your kids struggle and ache as a result of being active. Normally, a lot of kids aren’t active, so this is a good problem for your kids to have. (Or at least, as good a problem as they could have.)
Regardless, something needs to be done to help get your children back out there if they’re complaining of an overuse injury. You can’t heal plantar fasciitis with congratulating your kids on staying active, although that would be an amazing superpower to have.
Never fear; we have a few tips to help prevent this injury and ensure your kids can stay active.
- Make sure they have the right pair of shoes.
- Make sure your children take a break from physical activity to prevent the repetitive impact that causes this condition.
- Use over the counter anti-inflammatory medication and ice as need be to reduce swelling and pain.
If none of this works, come see us for a more detailed plan!
Help your children enjoy healthy eating
Sugar, salt, and fat are great treats now and again, but a diet full of these three culprits will only hurt your health in the long run. This is true for adults, but it’s especially true for children. A study from the University of Calgary in AB, Canada discovered that there’s a correlation between a child’s diet and their weight as an adult.
Making sure that your children don’t eat too much junk food when they’re young could very well help keep their weight in check later on in life. (Of course, moderation is key. A candy bar or cheeseburger now and then will not derail the long-term health of your child. As they say, there are no bad foods, only bad diets.)
Once again, within this general life advice is a kernel of great podiatric advice to help your kids achieve health success. Any thing you do now to help keep your weight in check and your dietary habits healthy will be great for your feet as well. Diabetes has long-term effects on the body, but your feet actually bear the brunt of this condition. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) as a result of high blood sugar impedes blood flow to your feet and deprives your feet of nutrients.
This also could come with diabetic neuropathy, as the nerves in your feet are starved out, due to this poor circulation. If untreated, you may even develop a diabetic wound, as your feet lose the ability to properly heal themselves and a very minor cut or abrasion evolves into something a lot more difficult to treat.
You might think that this advice only applies to those living adults with diabetes; we have to push back and say that the number of children with diabetes would surprise you. A lot of this is also due to the fact that prediabetes can be difficult to spot, especially in children. Many parents don’t realize that their children are at risk of developing diabetes and have no course of action to help head this off.
That’s where our advice comes in. Teach your children to enjoy a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to decrease their risk of developing diabetes later on in life. It’s, of course, not an invincible plan. Some people will have a familial history of diabetes or other risk factors, but generally speaking, a good diet and an active lifestyle will at the very least decrease the odds that your child will develop diabetes.
Keep an eye out for in toeing and out toeing
Everything else we’ve discussed previously has been related to lifestyle. These types of conditions can usually be improved with some simple lifestyle changes. However, there are still some conditions that we often see in children that can’t be changed with lifestyle advice.
With younger children especially, you might notice that their toes either point in more or point out more. This could no reason at all, but it COULD signal a greater underlying issue, such as misalignment or a neuromuscular condition. It’s an easy condition to miss, but staying vigilant will help you take the proper steps to combat it.
Treatment for this condition is usually pretty straightforward. Dr. Lockwood and staff will start with a physical examination to determine what the best course of action is. We also might recommend an X-ray to get a better idea of what we’re looking at.
Regardless of what we decide to do, the first step is noticing gait issues and bringing your children into our practice. We can do a lot of good for your children, but we need to actually have an appointment scheduled to give advice and that’s where your vigilance and care for your child is so important. Noticing a problem now and bringing them in to see us could greatly impact their future health.
What to Do Next
Sometimes, even the best plan doesn’t come to fruition. These tips are certainly helpful, but they’re not an exhaustive list by any stretch. That means that even if you follow every aspect of this list perfectly, your child might still develop some podiatric issues.
If that happens, know that you don’t have to help manage these issues alone, nor should you. Our team has so much expertise in these areas and we’re happy to help get your children’s feet back on the right track! We’ve had overwhelming success helping other families and we can do the same for yours!
Call us today at (309) 661-9975 if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with our Bloomington, IL office.