The Childs Foot
Foot Pain in the child:
Flat foot in the child
Flexible flatfoot or a pronated foot in children is usually painless in young children, but may cause an ache, especially if the child is overweight or older. In the very young child, there is often a ‘fat pad’ in the arch area of the foot which gives an appearance of a flat foot, when it is not. If the foot also rolls inward at the ankle (pronates), then this may be cause for concern. In the majority of cases, most will grow out of it, but some do not. As a general rule, the arch should have developed by approximately 6-7 years of age. If the arch has not developed adequately by this age, orthotics may be warranted to help support the arch and prevent potential problems. Treatment with foot orthotics are indicated if the flat-foot is severe, causing symptoms and if both parents have flat feet as this indicates that they may be less likely to grow out of it.
In-toeing and out-toeing in children
In-toeing means that the feet points inwards instead of pointing straight ahead when walking. A common problem with children with in-toeing is that they can trip more often than other children. Most will probably outgrow the condition naturally. If in-toeing does persistent or is causing problems, special shoes, stretching exercises or other treatments could be needed. By about age 2, most children walk with their feet pointing straight ahead or slightly outward. Parents or other family members often worry about the way a child walks.
By age 2, most kids will walk with their toes pointed slightly outward. If the feet angle is excessively outwards, this is called out-toeing. It is not as common as in-toeing, but in most cases, it is also just part of normal development.
Often just reassurance is needed if a child is out-toeing or in-toeing, with treatment reserved for the persistent and severe cases. Sometimes the in-toeing and out-toeing does put abnormal pressures on the foot structure and function, so special shoes or foot supports may be required to protect the foot.
Toe walking (equinus gait) is usually normal in children, especially if they are just beginning to learn how to walk and everything else is normal. However, it can be a sign of a condition that needs further investigation (especially if the ankle joint range of motion is limited). Most cases of toe-walking are just a habit and the child will grow out of it. Toe walking can be caused by neuromuscular conditions, such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, leg length differences, spinal cord abnormalities and Achilles tendon shortness. If it’s a mild shortness, stretching exercises and/or physical therapy may be necessary.
Nail cutting in infants
A babies toe nails are soft but can be sharp. Using a small set of clippers, trim the toenails straight across, then gently use an emery board to file any edges.
Importance of footwear
Common Questions and Answers
If you child is experiencing any on going pain that isn’t going away (more than a week) then this should be looked at by one of our foot expert’s. If you are concerned about or their is a family history of:
- Flat Feet
- Curly Toes
- Ingrown Nails
- Heel Pain
- Knee Pain
- Night Pain
Call us today, no referral is needed.
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