Children should see a pediatric podiatrist on an annual basis for a checkup of their feet and ankles, similar to getting an annual checkup with their pediatrician. They should also see a pediatric podiatrist when they have symptoms of an acute or chronic condition or injury, or if a problem with growth, development, or gait develops. An expert opinion on the health and structure of young feet can save years of pain and poor mobility.
What should you watch for in your child, and what does a pediatric podiatrist treat? Learn the details here.
Signs That Something May Be Wrong
Many children are on their feet all day long. Whether it’s at school, home, or on the athletic field, young feet get used a lot. Parents should be on the alert for potential problems, so evaluation and treatment can begin in a timely manner.
Here are the symptoms that your pediatric podiatrist should assess:
- Complaints of foot pain, including heel pain
- Fatigued feet
- Lack of sensation or numbness and tingling
- Clumsiness, poor balance and coordination, and frequent falls (as compared to other children of the same age)
- Differences in the size and shape of a child’s feet
- Gait differences, such as toeing-in, toeing-out (pigeon-toed and duck walk) and toe-walking
- Warts, persistent athlete’s foot, fungal toenails, and other possible infections
- Pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness after a fall or collision
- Noticeably flat feet in children older than babies and toddlers
- Deformities (such as clubfoot) or the potential for deformities (as indicated by family history)
- Nails that are misshapen, ingrown, thick, or discolored
- Bony growths on the feet
- Repeated ankle sprains and instability
- A desire to stop physical games and activities that were once enjoyed due to hurting or tired feet
What Happens When You See a Pediatric Podiatrist?
Taking your child to see a podiatrist is the best thing to do when symptoms arise. The foot and ankle doctor will do many things to understand the problem, such as inspect your child’s feet, ask them to walk (to see how their feet strike the floor, as well as their balance and gait), examine the shoes they wear every day, ask them questions about their symptoms, and more.
Additionally, the podiatrist may wish to do some imaging tests, such as an X-ray, if warranted. With the findings in hand, the pediatric podiatrist can diagnose the problem and recommend interventions to correct it.
Pediatric Podiatry Problems We Treat at Our Clinics
At our clinics, our doctors are highly skilled and experienced in both surgical and non-surgical solutions to foot and ankle issues in children. Our care plans are individualized to the patient’s needs, age, overall health, test and exam results, and more. Problems frequently seen are:
- Diabetic foot
- Problems with growth plates (Sever’s disease)
- Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis)
- Fungal toenails
- Ingrown toenails
- Fractures, sprains, and strains
- Flat feet (fallen arches)
- Plantar warts
- Plantar fasciitis
- Heel spurs
- Gait issues
Additionally, parents often have questions about what shoes are best for growing feet, how often to obtain new ones, and how to choose the correct fit. Our podiatrists can answer these questions and guide parents on shoe selections for babies, toddlers, young children, and rapidly growing adolescents, as well as kids involved in team sports, dancing, cycling, and other activities.
The Best of Pediatric Podiatry Care at Foot & Ankle Institute of New England
The Foot & Ankle Institute of New England’s three board-certified podiatrists–Drs.Criscione, Gallucci, and Rogers–welcome patients of all ages to our Rhode Island and Massachusetts clinics. We invite you to bring your child in for a consultation. We’re here to help your youngster enjoy a pain-free, active lifestyle.
Look for the location near you, and give us a call today. Or, complete our appointment request form, and we will contact you soon.