Pediatric Foot Care
Proper foot care is important for children of all ages. Many foot conditions seen in adults are caused by childhood foot problems. Although pediatric and adult foot care is generally the same, there are many unique components of the developing/pediatric foot. Therefore, basic pediatric foot care becomes slightly more challenging. We must keep in mind: children’s feet are always growing, activity level of children is generally higher compared to adults and the bones are still very resilient.
As an infant grows, there are standard anatomical landmarks and developmental positions of the feet/ankle/legs. These developmental markers are directly related to age and gender. If you feel your child may have developmental delays of the legs, ankle or feet, Foot and Ankle Care of South Jersey is ready to evaluate any child for abnormal development.
For infants, the shape and size of feet change rapidly. Infant bones are cartilagenous, soft and resilient. Many infants are born with positional and structural deformities of the ankle/foot, which may be due to inrauterine pressure (in the mothers womb) or ill fitting foot wear. Pressure may restrict or change the still-forming foot. Toddlers should walk when ready to walk, first crawling, then gradually standing upright “crusing” – using arms and hands as a guide on furniture, walls etc, followed by upright walking. Gait problems are common when toddlers learn to walk; conditions such as toe walking, bouncing gait, bow legged and in-toeing are often outgrown, resolving on their own. Depending on the age, bones of the developing pediatric foot become hard between ages 8-10, with some smaller bones of the foot finally ossifying around age 14.
When it come to foot problems, early detection is key to treatment and future prevention. Pediatric foot and ankle problems are common in children due to their high levels of physical activity, but it’s easy for the signs and symptoms to go unnoticed as children are so resilient. To support your child’s foot health, monitor for signs and symptoms.
Consult with licensed pediatric podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Care of South Jersey if you notice ankles turning in more than usual; arches flattening more then other children of the same age; cramping, pain or limping when attempting to walk normally; change in your child’s desire to play actively outside. Children may need corrective shoes, orthotics, splints and other braces
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s feet, ankles or legs, schedule an appointment at Foot and Ankle Care of South Jersey to be evaluated.