Children. Why would my child need to see a Podiatrist?
Children make up a large component of who we treat at Central West Foot and Ankle Clinic. Mike and Katie both have young children themselves and want to help the kids of the Central West have the best foot health they can. You children’s feet are their vehicles that allow them to play, explore, climb, run and compete in sport. Our aim is to help you children have the healthy and happy feet essential to a lively and enjoyable childhood.
The most common complaints we see coming in are; heel pain (Calcaneal Apophysiitis “Severs Disease), flat feet, growing pains, in-toeing, juvenile bunions, ingrowing nails, warts, curly toes, toe walking, and hypermobility (double jointed/ floppy joints).
It is important to know that despite their usual every day complaints (yes we know all about the daily whinging!), children often do not complain of pain in the legs and feet. If they are complaining of pain, this is a red flag to us and need to be reviewed. Other issues to keep an eye out for that may indicate a problem are; regular tripping or clumsiness, not wanting to participate in physical activity, growing pains (are not just “growing pains”), unusual shoe wear.
When a child is born, their foot is significantly different to that of an adult. There are 26 bones in adult foot and only 22 partially formed bones and a whole lot of cartilage in a baby. It is not until the age of 3 that the final bone starts to form. It is therefore essential to provide the baby with adequate room in onesies, socks and stocking to allow the foot to grow naturally. When the child does begin to wear shoes, a soft soled shoe is best to allow the proprioceptive (balance) nerves to develop properly and the tiny little intrinsic muscles of the feet to strengthen. When at home it is best to give them bare foot time also.
School shoe fitting is also very important. Well built and properly fitted school shoes may be expensive, but considering children wear school shoes 70% of the week it is important that they fit the foot, give it support and protection as well as enough room to not cause cramping of the toes.
If in doubt about anything to do with your children’s feet, book and appointment with a qualified Podiatrist and we will be more than happy to help. We treat ALL foot conditions and you do not need a referral from a doctor.
We will also be going into more depth on the most common paediatric conditions over the next month on the blog.