Children's Foot Conditions & Care
When thinking about podiatry, many people understandably focus on the problems that come from a lifetime of wear and tear. However, feet that are newer to the world can share some of the same problems as adult feet, plus have conditions all their own. At Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic, we know how crucial children’s foot care can be to a healthy, comfortable future.
The Developing Years
Baby feet are not just “fun size” versions of mature feet. They actually differ quite a bit in shape and structure at birth. They are soft, flexible, and pudgy, with the bones having not yet assumed their full, hardened shape. Once a child begins learning to walk, the supportive arches of the feet should begin to develop.
Once children’s feet start growing, don’t blink! According to studies, a child’s shoe size goes up half a mark about every 2 months during the first 15 months of life. It gradually slows from there to a half-size increase every 4 months from the ages of 3-5 years.
Worries Out of the Gait
As children grow, parents might begin to notice certain points of concern. A child’s feet might be visibly flat, or their arch disappears with certain movements. The foot might also point inward or outward, and they might sometimes trip while running.
Conditions such as pediatric flatfoot, intoeing (“pigeon-toed”) and outtoeing are something that should be routinely monitored, but not something to greatly worry about. These are relatively common sights in growing children, and most will grow out of them as their feet continue to develop. We will check your child’s feet over time to make sure these conditions aren’t turning into lasting problems, and will take steps to counter the effects of them if they are.
School years can be a time filled with sports and physical activity for many kids. We’re always here to treat sports injuries to the feet and ankles for athletes of any age, but are also aware of conditions that tend to target young, active feet.
For example, if your child is between the ages of 8-15 and showing signs of heel pain, there’s a good chance they might have Sever’s disease. This isn’t a disease in the traditional “germs” sense, but rather the “growing pains” of a heel bone developing faster than the tendons and muscles that support it. We can provide expert advice and care to get your child through this time and back to action as quickly and safely as possible.
Skin and Nails
Other commonly seen conditions in children’s foot care center around the skin and toenails. These include ingrown toenails, plantar warts, and even sometimes fungal infections. Home remedies tend not to work, and can sometimes lead to more harm than good. It’s best to have these problems addressed professionally while still early on. This can save a lot of tears for both child and parent.
Children’s Foot Care in Missoula, MT
Don’t let the pains and worries that come with growing feet and ankles mar some of the most wonderful years of life. Dr. Gregg Neibauer and the staff of Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic are here to keep children’s feet happy and parents’ minds at ease. Call us at (406) 721-4007 or use our online form to get in touch and schedule an appointment.