Today’s Podiatrist is an expert in treating children and teens. Podiatrists are physicians and surgeons with special training in treating the foot and ankle. Podiatrists keep America's kids active by keeping them on their feet and in the game.
Children's feet are still developing, and they are susceptible to a variety of conditions as they grow. Active kids, especially young athletes, are also prone to overuse and traumatic injuries. The good news is, as a parent, you can take simple steps to ensure your children's feet and ankles stay healthy.
Parents should keep a watchful eye on kids' feet. Be sure their footwear fits properly each season, and pay attention if their behavior changes. Little kids can't always communicate an injury or articulate pain, so they may act more tired than usual or be hesitant to participate in their regular activities when they are in pain. Active preteens can develop conditions such as Sever's disease, a painful condition of the heel that results from growth spurts in the bone that outstrip the growth of the surrounding soft tissue. And kids may ignore symptoms such as drainage from an ingrown toenail that could signal a serious infection.
The bottom line? Never ignore foot pain. "Growing pains" are not normal, and if your child's feet aren't feeling up to par, it's time to see a podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment.
For more information about kids' foot health, visit the American College of Foot and Ankle Pediatrics:
Individual members and practices can make use of the following resources to promote their expertise and educate current and prospective patients. These downloadable resources include suggested social media posts, a press release, a referral letter, and more. Watch for more materials to come later this month.
Note: Members in New York should contact NYSPMA Executive Director Dan Kline for materials customized to your needs.
Want more great materials to share with your littlest patients? Sammy Solesaver is an adorable and educational coloring book produced by APMA member Carl Cortese, DPM. The book not only shares easily digestible information about kids' foot health but also helps children prepare for an appointment with their podiatrist. Purchase copies to benefit the APMA Educational Foundation.