Pediatric Foot Care
Little Feet, Big Problems
It’s only natural that you want to see your child living and feeling their best. When something doesn’t seem quite right, or your child complains about foot pain after a fun day on the playground, you’re eager to get to the root of what’s wrong.
We get it!
And since we know how much your child means to you, we aim to provide the kind of pediatric foot care for them that we know you would. Here at Heartland Foot & Ankle Associates, we are dedicated to relieving your child’s foot pain by providing the best treatments available to make sure your child can keep doing the things they love to do – now and in the future.
Interested In Understanding How Orthotics Can Help Your Child?
Children Need Podiatrists, Too!
When it comes to your child’s health, you might not think of a podiatrist. In fact, when we think of foot doctors, we often associate the practice with mature, “well-used” feet. And we are proud to offer care for those feet and ankles that have tread many miles! But the truth is “new” feet sometimes require attention, too.
Why? Here are some reasons:
- In the first year, your child’s feet grow, change shape, and expand rapidly. If he or she wears shoes that are too small or too tight, it could impact their development.
- As a toddler, your child begins taking his or her first steps. This is the time they learn how to run, play, and move freely. Sometimes, children learn how to walk by standing on their toes. This is common and easily treated if stopped early.
- Throughout adolescence, your child plays on the playground, joins a sports team, and runs around freely – and sometimes injuries can happen. Without proper treatment, your child’s growing bones could be permanently damaged.
That being said, you should always keep in mind that children sometimes are unable to recognize when there is a problem. A painful heel or ingrown toenail can easily go unnoticed merely because children don’t quite know how to communicate their symptoms.
So it’s important that you pay close attention to your child’s walking gait and feet shape. And if they ever complain of discomfort in their feet or ankles, your best course of action is to come in and visit our office for a better evaluation. By catching foot injuries early, you could improve your child’s future.
Common Foot Injuries in Children
Yes, sometimes you might wish you could protect your child from all the potential harms in the world. But the truth is that is not an option, and facing the risk of being active outside is actually a healthier choice, anyway.
However, that doesn’t mean you should sit back and wait for things to happen. Instead, becoming familiar with some of the most common pediatric foot and ankle conditions will help prevent them, and you will be able to recognize when and how symptoms need to be addressed.
Some of the most common injuries in children include:
- Heel pain is common for children, and the usual culprit behind it is a condition known as Sever’s disease. This often happens between the ages of 8 and 14 and is usually seen in children who are physically active.
- Flat feet is usually not an area of concern unless the condition is causing painful symptoms or keeping your child from doing their favorite activities.
- Plantar warts is something kids love sharing with one another. Our office can provide treatment to remove these viral growths.
- In-toeing and out-toeing, in which toes point in our out instead of straight ahead and parallel, can often be resolved through the use of custom orthotics.
- Sports injuries are always a possibility when participating in physical activities.
- Ingrown Toenails are often caused by tight-fitting shoes. As children’s feet grow fast, they can eventually become jammed in the front of the shoe, squeezing the toes and forcing the nails into the surrounding soft skin.
Each of these foot conditions could signal a more serious injury, and the bottom line is you should always seek professional care when your child is experiencing any type of foot or ankle pain. These symptoms need to be addressed immediately in order to prevent any long-lasting problems throughout adulthood.
Going to the Doctor Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
Diagnosing your child’s foot problem isn’t a difficult experience. Dr. Lockwood strives to make your time as educational and as easy as possible. To determine what is hurting your child, Dr. Lockwood will perform a physical exam. She might also request an X-ray if the symptoms warrant.
In many cases, treating your child’s foot problem might be as easy as getting a new pair of custom shoes or changing their posture while sitting.
So if you’re concerned that your child’s feet might not develop correctly, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Call (309) 661-9975 to schedule an appointment with at our office and start your child on the path to healthy feet.