6 Common Foot Problems in Children and Their Treatment Options

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Many times children will suffer from the same foot conditions that adults suffer from. Some of the examples include plantar warts, ingrown toenails, flat feet and heel pain. These conditions happen more often with children because of their active lifestyles and the nature of their developing bodies. For example, bone and muscle growth changes in the legs may contribute to heel pain and flat feet.

1. Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail is one of the common foot problems in children. It happens when the edge of the nail, most often with the big toe, grows into the skin around it. Pain and even infection make this problem one worth paying attention to. Teenagers especially have to watch out for it, and it often occurs because of a tight-fitting shoe and a growth spurt. The result becomes an ingrown toenail that might cause an infection where the skin around it will appear swollen and red. In addition, it might feel warm to the touch.

In some cases, the area might even drain a yellowish fluid or pus, and the red area might feel sensitive to the touch or pressure from the shoe.

Treatment

  • Soak or wash the feet.
  • Wash with castile soap.
  • Dental floss under the toenail.
  • Wash with apple cider vinegar.

2. Plantar Warts

Plantar warts could be defined as a skin condition where the foot suffers a skin lesion. This happens from a virus called HPV. Sometimes people mistake a plantar wart for a callus or corn because they have a similar appearance. For example, you have a thick area of skin that feels uncomfortable. However, the most common sign of plantar warts relates to the tiny black dots found within the skin lesion.

You can find these warts on almost any area of the skin including the toenail, but they will often happen near the sole of the foot because of how this is where the trauma usually takes place and opens an infiltration point for the wart virus.

Treatment

  • The use of freezing medicine.
  • The use of a peeling medicine.

3. Flat Feet

Looking at kids feet problems, pes planus, also known as flat feet, happens when you have either minimal or no arch within the feet. Many times this happens because of developmental changes, and treatment will often be necessary when flat feet cause leg pain or foot pain. It can even lead to problems with walking. One of the most common treatments for flat feet has been to give the child arch supports or orthotics to control the pronation.

Treatment

  • The child is given arch supports.

4. Heel Pain

Many times heel pain in children happens because of a condition known as plantar fasciitis. The inflamed area of the heel bone will have a thick band of tissue, and the plantar fascia will attach here. The pain will happen either as a result of rest or activity. Sometimes heel pain happens because of a condition known as Sever’s disease. This causes pain near the growth plate of the heel, and it often happens to children between the ages of eight to 14. The pain erupts from the strain to the Achilles tendon. Children are often susceptible to this because of how the Achilles tendon and calf muscles will be tight as growth spurts occur.

Treatment

  • Surgery for the heel pain.
  • Orthotic devices intended to treat it.
  • Acupressure applied where it is needed.

5. Growing Pains of the Heel

Foot pain in children will sometimes be related to growing pains. Luckily, these are usually short-lived pains where the bone grows faster than the muscle and causes strain or discomfort. Often the pain comes later in the day or at night after busy activity.

Treatment

  • Sometimes foot exercises are done.
  • Applying ice has been known to help.

6. Calcaneal Apophysitis

You can call the heel bone the calcaneus, and it’s an area where the bone starts to grow. Sometimes the growth plate will grow and cause tension with the tendon, and this leads to pain in the heel. Many times this condition gets aggravated because of a greater frequency of activity.

Treatment

  • You modify your child’s activities.
  • Stretch and ice the gastrocnemius-soleus complex.

Note that children’s feet are different to that of adults. Their bones are still very soft and are therefore more easily affected by pressure and forces. It is important to take care our children’s feet properly by choosing the right shoes and perform a daily foot inspection to notice any problems early. Above are some of the most common children’s feet problems and how they get treated. However, if the problem does not go away on its own, you should visit a podiatrist that specialises in children.

READ ALSO: 5 Kid-Friendly Bike Trails in Melbourne

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