Growing Feet: Athletics and your child’s feet

We watch them take their first hesitant steps and then we watch them run, scampering down the department store aisles. What happens when our children are unable to run or even walk? Telling us “Mommy/Daddy, my feet hurt.”  The very thought is enough to make a parent’s heart ache. What can a dad or mom do to help ensure that a child has happy and healthy feet?

Shoes. Children grow up faster then we imagine. It is important to monitor shoe size and fit. Too tight of shoes can lead to ingrown toenails, blisters and pain. Shoes should fit comfortably in the toes allowing for wiggle room. Length should allow for at least a half of a thumb length from the toe tips to the end of the shoe.  AFFC can help to measure your child’s feet and can recommend shoes to fit your child’s needs and activity level.

Orthotics are inserts that go into shoes to help improve the ability at which the foot functions. For children experiencing significant foot pain or who are heavily involved in athletics, an orthotic can help to alleviate pain and can help improve sports performance. Orthotics customized to your child’s feet can be used for two shoe sizes of growth. Similar to eyeglasses, orthotics help to improve our child’s natural abilities, providing a “leg up on the competition” by helping your little one put their best foot forward.

Plantar’s Warts.  Participating in sports means your child will encounter locker room floors and poolside walkways.  Both places are the habitat for the virus that causes planter’s warts. The virus infects the foot via small cuts in the skin, and sets up shop. Forming a painful raised lesion with black pepper flecks in the center on the bottom of the foot.  Using a pair of flip-flops in the shower and poolside can decrease the chances of a plantar’s wart taking root. The doctors at AFFC have several treatment options available to treat your child’s plantar warts.

Athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Drank locker rooms are the lurking place of foot fungus. Manifested as an itchy rash along the foot.  This skin condition can put damp in anyone’s style, thus it becomes important to wear flip-flops in locker rooms and to use an antifungal foot powder. Additionally the fungus causing athlete’s foot can cause nail fungus leading to an unattractive and sometimes painful nails.

Stress fracture is essentially a crack in the bone secondary to overuse and high impact. It is important to make sure that your young athlete is properly conditioned and not physically overstressing himself or herself. Use of a good well-cushioned and supportive shoe can reduce the stress placed on the foot. The doctors at AFFC can both diagnose and treat a stress fracture.

Sports are an exciting and wonderful part of childhood.  The doctors at AFFC are especially trained to treat sport related injuries of both the foot and ankle.  Let us help your child to abandon their hesitant painful steps and instead run happily across the playing field.