At Peninsula Podiatry, we strive to educate our patients of all ages, and children are no exception. With children recently going back to school and starting new schedules, it is easy for foot and ankle problems to go unnoticed. Often, signs of a problem may be subtle and children are not able to describe to adults what is bothering them. However, because their feet are growing and changing, it is more important than ever to keep an eye out for some of these early warning signs, as stated by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.
“1. Your Kids Can’t Keep Up with Their Peers
If children lag behind in sports or backyard play, it may be because their feet or legs are tired. Fatigue is common when children have flat feet. The muscles in the feet and legs tire easily because the feet are not functioning as well as they should.
2. Children Voluntarily Withdraw from Activities they Usually Enjoy
If they are reluctant to participate, it may be due to heel pain — a problem often seen in children between the ages of 8 and 14. Repetitive stress from sports may cause muscle strain and inflammation of the growth plate, a weak area at the back of a child’s heel.
3. They Don’t Want to Show You Their Feet
Children may feel pain or notice a change in the appearance of their feet or nails but don’t tell their parents because they fear a trip to the doctor’s office. We encourage parents to make a habit of inspecting their child’s feet starting at a young age. Look for any changes such as calluses, growths, skin discoloration, or redness and swelling around the toenails.
4. Your Child Often Trips and Falls
Repeated clumsiness may be a sign of in-toeing, balance problems or neuromuscular conditions.
5. The Child Complains of Pain
It is never normal for a child to have foot pain. Injuries may seem minor, but if pain or swelling last more than a few days, have your child’s foot examined.”
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your child, call Peninsula Podiatry for an appointment at (360) 641-7102, to assess these complaints and if needed, to initiate treatment early.
For more information on foot conditions visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons’ Web site, FootHealthFacts.org.