Should you take your child to see a podiatrist?
It is a question we often get asked in the clinic when we are treating an adult who has a child, or in social settings when being asked as to who comes to see us at the clinic.
Children’s feet differ from adults, as they are not fully formed. Most children we see at the clinic are age 5 or up, but this does not mean your newborn or toddler shouldn’t be checked by a podiatrist. We don’t work only on the feet; we are fully qualified to help with problems related from the hips to the toes.
Knowing when to take your child to see a podiatrist can be hard to work out, especially if they’re not complaining of any pain or discomfort. The list below should help you with what you can be on the lookout for:
It’s not always easy to know when a child is truly in pain. But changes in crying patterns, body posture or behaviour. For example, a calm or active kid who becomes unusually fussy or slow.
Do you have any concerns regarding your child’s delayed walking, balance, stability, symmetry, speed, movement control, foot type, shape and placement? Your child is never too young to be checked by us. Some of the concerns we can help with include toe-walking, pigeon-toed (intoe-ing), foot drop, metatarsus adductus, knock knees, bowed legs, hypermobility, flat feet and high arched feet.
Sports played/Activity level:
Certain types of sports and levels of training can increase injuries from physical overuse.
Presence of past or present medical issues can increase affect your child’s foot health. Conditions such as Cerebral palsy, Autism spectrum disorder, juvenile arthritis or other forms of connective tissue disorders such as fibromyalgia, often lead to foot or lower limb problems.
Many aspects of the feet and lower limbs can be inherited so if the mum, dad or a grandparent has flat or high arched feet, struggles with persistent pain or injuries; getting your child’s feet and gait assessed is recommended. Many issues can be well managed or even prevented if picked up early.
Today, shoes are as much about aesthetic appearance as basic protection and support, and with so many brands available, podiatrists are the best to talk to if your baby/toddler/child requires some extra help with finding the right pair for. Particularly if they’re playing sports, you’d want to make sure their footwear is correct for the sport they play, and that it fits well.
Skin & Nails:
Ingrown toenails and warts aren’t exclusive to adults, unfortunately. Kids can also develop tinea, eczema/allergies, corns, callous and fungal nails.