Feet Problems In Children
Children can present with many worrisome problems to the new parent and some that get overlooked quite frequently occur in their feet.
Yes, flat feet, in–toeing and toe walking are conditions that many children have and can outgrow, but it’s when they reach a certain age that if these have not resolved or are severe to begin with, then it may warrant a trip to see the podiatrist.
Some common milestones that one should keep track of is that it is normal for a child’s foot to look flat, usually up until the ages of 3-4. This is due in large part to the degree of thickness of the fat pad on the baby’s foot, but soon, a child’s arch can be seen taking shape around age three and their adult foot type is often developed by the ages of 10-12.
A child 3-4 years of age with a flat foot accompanied with pain or collapsing-inward appearing ankles or who are still flat footed by age five should be evaluated for orthotics to support the arch and align the heel.
In-toeing is another common development in children. This is when a child’s feet point inwards, also known as pigeon-toed. The opposite of this and less common is out-toeing or duck walking when their feet point outwards. These can be caused by the degree of rotation or muscle deficiencies in the child’s core, hips and lower limbs and is commonly remedied by stretching, strengthening exercises, bracing and children’s orthotics.
Lastly, toe walking is another condition that usually occurs shortly after a child first begins to walk. However, if it’s six months to a year later and your child is still tip-toeing around, then she or he may need to be evaluated for tight heel cords, vision discrepancies and neuromuscular function.
These are a few of the common conditions that parents need to be aware of so you can speak to the podiatrist about your child. We all know that letting these things go can possibly make them worse down the line. So, check your child’s feet, and see the podiatrist for an evaluation.