Many foot problems that develop later in life have actually been brewing for many years. So it pays to take care of one’s feet starting at a young age. Craig B. Frey, DPM and Megan L. Oltmann, DPM, the expert podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, advise our patients to take good care of babies and children’s feet. As their children grow, parents can grant them the tools they’ll need for life as free from foot pain as possible.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
- Don’t keep a baby’s feet cooped up in shoes. Brand-new feet are flexible and will change the size and shape a great deal during the first year of life. So it’s important that babies spend a lot of time barefoot, with room to kick and stretch their limbs as they grow.
- Don’t force your toddler to walk; he’ll blossom when he and his feet are ready. If you notice your toddler walking on his toes or walking with his toes pointing in or out, know that it’s usually normal. He’ll most likely grow out of these behaviors but check with our doctors if he doesn’t.
- Do see a podiatrist if your child complains of foot pain. For best results, teach your child the importance of wearing braces, custom orthotics, or special shoes if we prescribe them.
- Do provide them with sports-specific shoes. Athletic shoes come in many varieties for a reason.
- Don’t overlook the possibility that your child has a foot or ankle problem and isn’t telling you. A tell-tale sign that your young child has something physically wrong is that she stops being active. Check her feet for blisters or other skin lesions. Ask her if her feet hurt.
- Do keep their feet clean and dry. Teach them to wash between their toes and to dry them just as carefully.
In summary, be proactive about your child’s foot health and teach them to do the same. When you do need medical care for a foot or ankle issue, contact us at our office in Solon, Ohio. We welcome adults and children from all over Portage, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Summit Counties. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or request an appointment online.