Common Foot Problems in Children

Parents may worry about their child’s teeth, eyes, but most parents don’t give as much concern to their developing feet.

Foot pain and symptoms in children is not common due to the flexibility of their tissues, but kids can still experience foot pain.

We’re going to take a look at some of the common foot conditions in your child’s feet and what you can do!

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Flexible flatfoot or a pronated foot in children is usually painless in young children, but may cause an ache, especially if the child is overweight or older. In the very young child, there is often a ‘fat pad’ in the arch area of the foot which gives an appearance of a flat foot, when it is not. If the foot also rolls inward at the ankle, then this may be cause for concern.

In the majority of cases, most kids will grow out of it, but some do not. Treatment with foot orthotics is needed if its severe, causing symptoms and if both parents have flat feet, as this indicates that kids may be less likely to grow out of it.

In-toeing means that the foot or feet points inwards instead of pointing straight ahead when walking. A common problem with children with in-toeing is that they can trip more often than other children. By about age 2, most children walk with their feet pointing straight ahead or slightly outward. Parents or other family members often worry about the way a child walks.

Out-toeing not as common as in-toeing, but in most cases, it is also just part of normal development. Sometimes the in-toeing and out-toeing does put abnormal pressures on the foot structure and function, so special shoes or foot supports may be required to protect the foot.

Some infants are born with feet that can bend inwards from the middle of the feet to the toes, called metatarsus adductus. It usually improves on its own without treatment. If the child reaches about 6 to 9 months and the condition is not improving special corrective shoes or casts are often recommended.

Toe walking is usually normal in children, especially if they are just beginning to learn how to walk and everything else is normal. Most cases of toe-walking are just a habit and the child will grow out of it. If the toe walking is more severe or persistent, then the child needs to see a oot and ankle doctor.

Remember, any type of foot or ankle pain is never normal. A foot and ankle doctor can examine your feet and give you the best course of action.

Please call 626-447-2184 (Arcadia) or 818-408-2800 (San Fernando) to speak to a foot and ankle specialist about your foot and/or ankle needs.

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