Children’s Foot Care

Caring for the Future—Your Child’s Foot Care

Little feet and ankles grow fast. If you’re a parent with a shoe budget, you probably already know this.

Children’s feet are relatively new and haven’t logged as many miles as an adult’s, but that does not mean they don’t need care. On the contrary, paying attention to your child’s feet as they develop can preclude pain and complications in the future, helping to reassure parents that their child’s feet will reach maturity in the best condition possible.

The Most Common Child/Adolescent Foot Problems

Plantar Warts

Young feet are not immune to many of the problems that adults have. In fact, because their activities are often held in communal areas (swim centers, gymnastics) where they may run around barefoot, common infections and viruses can be passed along from child to child.

These viral growths create rock-like lesions that become embedded in the skin. They are not benign—they spread to other areas of the feet and under fingernails as children tend to pick at these growths with their fingers.

As warts grow in size, they can become painful, entrenched, and difficult to resolve.

Although there are many treatments for warts, children and adolescents have special considerations:

  • Non-surgical treatment that avoids the emotional trauma of needles
  • Reliable, speedy procedures to avoid children missing school and parents missing work

Sierra Foot & Ankle uses advanced MLS Laser Therapy and non-needle intralesional treatment to address these considerations.

Ingrown Toenails

Children, and particularly adolescents, frequently develop ingrown toenails for many reasons, including:

  • Improper nail trimming
  • Sweaty feet that promote bacterial growth
  • Toe-crowding in shoes from rapid foot growth

Unfortunately, children often attempt to hide their ingrown toenail and handle the problem themselves. In some cases, the ingrown toenail can become so severe, swollen, and infected that it actually causes numbness.

Sierra Foot & Ankle offers same day / next day appointments to handle these urgent infected nails when discovered by the parents. We will also develop strategies and education to avoid recurrent ingrown toenails.

Ingrown Toenails

Children, and particularly adolescents, frequently develop ingrown toenails for many reasons, including:

  • Improper nail trimming
  • Sweaty feet that promote bacterial growth
  • Toe-crowding in shoes from rapid foot growth

Unfortunately, children often attempt to hide their ingrown toenail and handle the problem themselves. In some cases, the ingrown toenail can become so severe, swollen, and infected that it actually causes numbness.

Sierra Foot & Ankle offers same day / next day appointments to handle these urgent infected nails when discovered by the parents. We will also develop strategies and education to avoid recurrent ingrown toenails.

Young Athletes

A common condition of young athletes is Sever’s disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis. This is not actually as disease, but an inflammatory injury to the growth center in the heel. Children who play cleat sports such as soccer or football are particularly susceptible to this condition.

Arch supports are the key to alleviating the pain of Sever’s disease and getting young athletes back on the field. Sierra Foot & Ankle keeps in-stock arch supports and has an on-site orthotic lab to build a customize device for your child on the initial visit.

Foot Alignment Conditions

Children’s feet are very different from those of an adult. The bones are still underdeveloped and made of cartilage, making them soft and flexible. They are also proportionally wider and flatter, and often do not possess a permanent arch.

Because of these factors, it is common to witness certain deviations as children develop and start to walk. This can include:

  • Flexible Flatfoot – Your child’s developing arch disappears when they stand but reappears when they sit or lift onto their toes.
  • Toe-walking – Your child spends an unusual amount of time walking on their toes.
  • In-toeing or Outtoeing – Your child walks with feet pointed inward or outward.

In most cases, these conditions are not a sign of any permanent problem. They are just part of your child growing and acquiring the skills they need to move normally.

However, these symptoms can be a sign of an underlying problem of foot alignment. Fortunately, most alignment conditions can be easily addressed arch supports.

The earlier we start treating your child’s alignment issues, the more successful that treatment is likely to be, and the less likely your child will develop other mechanical conditions as he or she ages, grows and puts more weight on their structure.

Watch as They Grow

Children and adolescents can certainly develop a wide array of foot and ankle conditions or injuries that can have painful symptoms, restrict movement, and keep them away from doing the things they love doing. That’s why it is best to have your child’s feet examined and discuss your concerns with a professional.

Sierra Foot & Ankle can conduct periodic examinations to determine whether your child’s feet and ankles are developing normally. If they are not developing properly, we can take corrective action to address the problem, avoiding complications later on.

Lastly, it is also useful to watch for the beginnings of inherited foot deformities such as bunions and hammertoes. Even though most children aren’t wearing high heels, they may inherit structural instabilities that can cause toes to shift.

Don’t Delay!

Nobody knows a child as well as their parent or guardian. If your child has any of the above conditions or other concerns you may have, please bring him or her to our office, so that we can help them stay active and doing the things they are loving to do.

You can trust Sierra Foot & Ankle to treat your child as we would treat our own. We even have some very personal experience to share: Dr. Melhuish’s daughter was developing bunions at age 5, so she put her in orthotics, and now she is an accomplished ultra-runner and completed the Boston Marathon!

For in-depth and compassionate treatment for your child, call us at (775) 783-8037 to schedule an appointment at our office in Carson City. If you prefer to reach us electronically, please feel free to fill out our online request form below and a member of our staff will reach out to you.

Get In Touch

Address

2350 South Carson St
Suite 3
Carson City, NV 89701

Hours

Mon: 9:30am - 4:00pm
Tues: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Wed: 8:00am - 4:00pm

Thurs: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Fri: 8:00am - 1:00pm

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