FAQ - Children's Feet
Should my child see a podiatrist?
Parents want what is best for their child without being overprotective. So how do you find that balance when it comes to foot development? Conditions like flat feet and a bow-legged stance often clear up on their own when your child reaches the age of three or four. However, it is important to observe your child and listen to them. If you notice your child’s shoes are wearing unevenly, physical activity has decreased, or that he or she trips often, it is time to seek podiatric foot care.
Complaints of ankle, foot, or arch pain should be addressed by setting up an appointment with our foot specialists for an evaluation. Catching a problem early can mean the difference between a simple treatment like custom orthotics or the need for complex surgery to correct difficult problems. Let Aadvanced Foot Care Associates help your child have strong and healthy feet!
What should I do if my child has flat feet?
Flat feet in children are pretty common. Babies and toddlers have extra fat pads along the soles that give that appearance, and the typical arch doesn’t begin to form until they are walking. There is debate among podiatrists as to whether treatment is needed if there is no pain.
Those who advocate early treatment cite a tie-in between flat feet and later foot and leg problems, or a connection between a flatfoot gait and “growing pains.” Their conclusions are that it is best to treat a true flat-foot problem (not just the appearance of one) before painful symptoms start to head off trouble.
Others feel that it is best to wait until the child’s foot can develop on its own normally, and correct any problems that occur once your child’s feet are more fully formed.
If you are worried because your child has flat feet, give us a call. Our foot specialists will analyze your child’s feet, gait, and activity patterns to see if there is any medical reason to begin treatment early. You can reach us in Flushing at (718) 969-2266, Plainview at (516) 822-9595, and our main office in Rego Park, NY at (718) 896-4433.
Does my child need treatment for in-toeing?
Despite your tendency to worry if your child’s feet point in, early treatment for in-toeing is not usually recommended. Whether the feet, lower legs, or thighs are rotated inward, special shoes, stretches or braces don’t really help much, and the limbs should straighten on their own as your child begins to walk and the muscles get stronger.
You also don’t have to worry that your little one is in pain, or won’t learn to walk properly, or will get arthritis later. You may notice a tendency to trip with severe in-toeing, but that should get better as your child’s muscle memory improves. With severe metatarsus adductus (turned-in foot) we may do serial casting to straighten it in the early months. If your child still has severe intoeing that hampers their movement or gives them an awkward gait at 9 or 10 years of age, you may consider a surgical procedure to correct it.
The expert foot specialists at Aadvanced Foot Care Associates in New York are just a phone call away if you have concerns about your child’s feet. Reach us at (718) 896-4433 in Rego Park, (718) 969-2266 in Flushing, or (516) 822-9595 in Plainview.
Why do my child’s toes overlap?
When your child’s toes overlap, the problem is likely there at birth. It’s normal to try to learn why this happened, but not so easy. Even podiatrists don’t all agree on the cause. In turn, they have attributed it to:
- The position in the womb
- Failure of proper development in the little toe joint
- Displacement of a tendon that causes the toe to move out of alignment
In any case, there is probably a strong genetic component as well, since the deformity tends to run in families.
When your child’s pinky toe sticks up and crosses over its neighbor, it is not a problem as long as your baby is small, but it could become so as he or she starts walking. That’s why it is important to have someone who understands feet and their development keep a monitoring eye on the condition.
This perfectly describes the expert foot specialists who are part of Aadvanced Foot Care Associates in New York. With three offices on Long Island, you can schedule an appointment at the location closest to you. Just call Rego Park at (718) 896-4433, Plainview at (516) 822-9595, or Flushing at (718) 969-2266 today.
Can children get bunions?
No one is immune to bunions—even children. Juvenile bunions are not normal, however, and you should not delay in getting treatment for them. The earlier they are tackled, the less chance that they will worsen and cause pain in your child’s feet.
Conditions such as pediatric rheumatoid arthritis, a disease like cerebral palsy, or an inherited foot structure that has loose joints and a tendency to overpronation can all lead to this toe deformity. It is considered more serious in children, because they have many more years for the problem to worsen and cause real limitation.
Bring your child in for an evaluation at the first sign of a bump, swelling, or redness at the joint where the big toe joins the foot. We may be able to fit him or her with custom orthotics to slow down the problem and stave off surgery. Eventually, though, that may need to be the answer if the joint gets too deformed. Our expert foot doctors can handle that, too, and help your child stay normally active. Just call Aadvanced Foot Care Associates offices at the numbers below for an appointment:
Rego Park (718) 896-4433
Plainview (516) 822-9595
Flushing (718) 969-2266
How do I find the right shoes for my child?
Shoe shopping should be done later in the day when your child’s feet are at their largest, and should always start with a good measurement. Go to a store with trained personnel who can help if possible. Once you have a target size, the best children’s shoes will have the following characteristics:
- Breathable materials for those sweaty little feet
- Strong heel counters that don’t cave in when you pinch
- Firm soles that bend just where the toes bend
- Stable shoes that can’t be twisted in the middle
- Adequate cushioning
Have your child try them on, and determine how each fits. There should be plenty of room to wiggle the toes, including at least a half inch space at the tips of the shoes, and some room for overall growth. The shoes should feel comfortable immediately, but make sure they walk around in them for a few minutes to rule out any points of friction or sliding off at the heel.
If your child’s feet are hard to fit, call Aadvanced Foot Care Associates in Rego Park (718) 896-4433, Plainview (516) 822-9595, or Flushing (718) 969-2266—our expert podiatrists will be glad to check them for foot problems.