At Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, we treat patients of all ages and each population has its own unique foot care needs. For our younger patients, there are certain conditions that we see more frequently due to growth and development issues and personal habits. Below are some of the most common pediatric foot disorders and what to do about them.
Abnormal Foot Development—in infants and young toddlers, there is a wide range of “normal” foot appearances. Until a child loses his or her baby fat, the arch of the foot may not be clearly defined. Once a child gets beyond the initial wobbly first steps, however, it’s important to pay attention to how they walk. Flat feet or in-toeing, for example, are two issues that can best be corrected if treated early. If you notice anything abnormal in the way your child walks or a change in their gait, it’s essential that you make an appointment at one of our conveniently located offices near you. Our podiatrists will examine your child’s feet and determine if there is a problem. In some cases, custom orthotics or night braces will be prescribed to correct an abnormality and prevent it from permanently affecting your child’s feet.
Ingrown Toenails—children may pick at their nails or peel off the tips. This can lead to an ingrown toenail where the edges of the nail grow back down into the nail bed. This extremely painful condition may not be detected until the nail punctures the skin and causes redness, swelling and pain. Keep your child’s nails trimmed straight across and not too short. Examine toenails at bath time to make sure ingrown nails are not developing. Get ingrown nails treated promptly or a secondary infection may develop.
Fungal Infections—athlete’s foot, warts and fungal toenails are also seen more frequently in children than adults, partly because of their cleanliness habits (or lack thereof!). Make sure you teach your children not to go barefoot in public places and not to share socks, shoes and other items that touch someone else’s feet.
If you have concerns about your child’s feet, contact us today.