When caring for infants and children, taking care of their feet probably doesn’t jump to mind for a top priority. However, there are several ailments that can affect a youngster’s feet and proper steps should be taken to ensure good foot health.
As early as infancy, take proper measures to ensure good foot health for your baby. This can be achieved by ensuring a few simple steps:
Provide exercise - lying uncovered provides kicking and other related motions which prepare the feet for weight bearing.
Change the baby's position several times a day.
Look at your baby's feet often to see if you notice something that looks abnormal.
Cover the baby's feet loosely - tight covers restrict movement.
Young children’s feet are very resilient. Foot deformities that weren’t present at birth can result from a variety of factors including tight covers or shoes that restrict foot growth and development. It’s imperative that shoes be flexible and fitted properly.
As they age, be aware of your child’s walking patterns which may signal a concern. In addition, foot pain or swelling without explanation could be a sign of a serious condition and should not be ignored.
Often left untreated, flat feet in children can lead to serious foot conditions later in life. Flat feet are difficult to distinguish in young children until the arch develops between ages six and nine. Some eventually outgrow the condition. Those who don't, frequently complain of calf pain, cramping or fatigue, and parents notice collapsed arches and ankles that turn inward. Left untreated, childhood flatfoot can lead to arthritis and other foot problems as adults. There are several treatment options, including shoe modifications, orthotic inserts, physical therapy, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications and surgery. However, foot orthotics are generally the treatment of choice. These can be prescribed in our office and are often completely covered by Medicaid.
Good health is all-encompassing for infants and children. By adding a few simple steps, you can keep them healthy from head to toe. Call our office today at 208 785-6700 to see how.