Foot Problems in Babies and Toddlers

Most babies are born without any foot problems whatsoever. They learn to walk in their own time somewhere around their first birthday. There are, however, a few feet issues parents might want to be aware of as their children are born and advance through their first few years of life.

  • Clubfoot means that a newborn’s feet are smaller than normal and pointing downward or inward. Clubfoot is considered a birth defect, but it’s one that is eminently treatable. Baby will wear a series of braces or casts designed to return the bones of the foot into proper alignment. In some cases, surgical correction may be necessary.
  • Polydactyly is when a baby is born with one or more extra toes (or fingers). The extra digit forms while the baby is still in the womb. Treatment usually means surgical removal. Our experienced foot surgeons, Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann would operate within the first months of life and your child should not experience any problems walking in the future.
  • Children whose toes point inward instead of straight out have a condition called in-toeing (also known as pigeon toes). Similarly, children whose toes point outward suffer from out-toeing. In-toeing and out-toeing become evident when a child begins to walk. The problem often fixes itself as the child grows, but those who still exhibit symptoms beyond their second birthday should see a podiatrist.
  • Toddlers who walk on their toes are in good company. It’s not unusual to see toe-walking up until about age 3. After age 3, make an appointment with us to have your child’s feet evaluated for any physical deformity or muscular disorder preventing him or her from walking normally.
  • If the arch of a child’s foot doesn’t develop properly, he or she may have a condition called flatfoot. Flat feet usually don’t hurt a child, but they should be checked by a qualified podiatrist. As the child grows, their lack of arch may cause them pain or flexibility issues.

Dr. Frey, and Dr. Oltmann have extensive experience treating the feet of babies and toddlers. Bring your concerns about your child’s developing feet to us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or contact us online.