Should My Child See a Podiatrist?
Feet are often overlooked and forgotten about—that is, until they ache so much that you can’t walk, work, or play. Yet the role they play in life is significant. Healthy feet allow you to live a healthy and active life. In just one lifetime, you could easily log over 100,000 miles on your own two feet! Conversely, painful and misaligned feet adversely affect the mental and physical wellbeing of your entire body.
Many painful foot and ankle problems first emerge in childhood, even right at birth. This is a critical stage of development. Identifying and treating your child’s foot problems as early as possible will help set them on a positive trajectory—a lifetime of healthy feet and physical activity. Ignoring them could contribute to lifelong struggles.
Unfortunately, foot problems aren’t always as easy to spot as a cold or flu. However, if you stay vigilant, you can make sure your child gets the attention he or she needs. The following signs could all indicate a foot problem worth further investigation by a podiatrist:
- Your child complains of any kind of foot or ankle pain or stiffness. Pain should never be shrugged off as a “normal” part of life, at any age. It means there is a problem that must be addressed. If your child tells you something is wrong, or they’ve suffered an injury.
- Your child avoids physical activities. Kids are naturally inclined to run and play. If they are frequently disinterested or resistant to even light amounts of standing, walking, or running around, it may indicate a painful problem with the feet. If they always want to sit or ask to be carried, bring them in for a checkup.
- You observe abnormal standing or walking. Of course, no toddler is going to exhibit a picture-perfect stride—that’s why they’re called “toddlers,” after all. But check the structure and position of their feet and legs. Do their toes point inward or outward instead of straight ahead? Do you notice bowed legs or knock knees? Do they limp when they walk? Do they have feet, or arches that flatten when bearing weight? Anything that looks “not quite right” should trigger an appointment, if only for observation.
Even if you don’t notice any obvious signs of foot problems, it’s a good idea to bring your child in for a foot checkup at least once during their early years—generally after they’ve started walking. Again, at this age, foot problems are typically the easiest to address through conservative means. That will give your little one the greatest opportunity to grow and develop healthy feet that last a lifetime.
To book an appointment with Dr. Marizeli Olacio and the foot care experts at Omega Medical Group, give us a call today at (305) 514-0404.