Children often require special treatment for a medical concern; their feet are no different. When a child says they are experiencing pain in their feet or if a parent notices that the child is avoiding walking or standing, it should be taken very seriously. Pain in a child’s foot or ankle can indicate a problem. Any pain which persists for longer than a few days, or if it is severe enough to hinder the child’s walking, it should be assessed by the doctor right away.
Flat feet causes the arch of the foot to appear fallen or not present. Children usually do not present with symptoms. In some cases, they may appear to have trouble joining in physical activities or appear to walk or run in a strange way. Some might complain of pain or cramping in the legs, feet, or knees. Any discomfort or difficulty should be assessed.
Calcaneal apophysitis is the painful swelling of the heel’s growth plate. It commonly affects children between ages 8 and 14 because at this age the heel bone, calcaneus, is not fully formed. New bone is developing at the growth plate, or physis, found at the back of the heel. Excessive repetitive stress on the growth plate can cause inflammation.
Tight shoes and socks or incorrect nail trimming can cause ingrown toenails in children, however in some cases the predisposition for nails to curve inward is genetic. If the nail breaks the skin, serious infections can develop. Parents should never attempt to pry out the nail at home. Treatment by the podiatrist is the best option.
Warts can develop all over the foot, but usually, they grow on the bottom, or plantar, side. Plantar warts, which are the result of contracting the human papilloma virus, frequently occur in children and adolescents. While usually they are not serious, they can grow deep into the skin and make walking or standing painful.
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