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Pain, Pain Go Away: Common Reasons Why Your Child's Feet Hurt
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Every parent is familiar with the whole list of bodily complaints children have, from playground bumps and bruises to sore coughs and runny noses. But it's the pains that aren't easily identifiable that get you worried.
Foot problems may be one such concern. But we'll just say this right off the bat: there are many reasons why your child’s feet may hurt. Kids are active, so more often than not, it just comes down to the fact that they have been running around like a maniac for three hours straight.
But if the problem persists, there could be something else at play. Below, we've listed a few of the common foot problems in children. But don't jump to any conclusions! It's best to take your child to a foot specialist to get a proper diagnosis for their pains.
Flat feet is fairly easy to recognise by simply noting a lack of curved arch at the bottom of the foot. It's estimated between 3-13% of kids have flat feet - in fact, their arches don't normally become prominent until they're about 5 years old!
Flat feet can be fairly benign, but if your child starts to complain of discomfort or pain, it may be a good idea to seek out some medical advice.
Sever's Disease is characterised by pain in the heels that can worsen after exercise and result in a limp. It typically occurs in older kids between the ages of 8 and 12, but can often be misdiagnosed as growing pains.
Sever's Disease occurs when the calf bones grow faster than the surrounding soft tissue, pulling at the Achilles tendon - ouch! It's usually a short-term problem, but it may be best to book your child a doctor's appointment to avoid any complications.
Tarsal Coalitions can affect different children in different ways. It occurs when there is an abnormal growth of bone cartilage or fibrous tissue across three joints in the foot. Symptoms can include:
- Pain that occurs on the outside and top of the foot
- Rigid movement
- Muscle spasms
- Flat feet
Your child’s range of motion may be limited or completely diminished depending on the severity of the condition. But this isn't something you can diagnose with the help of Doctor Google! It's best to take your child to a doctor to get the best possible treatment.
Growth Plate Injuries
Growth plates are located near the ends of long bones, including legs and arms. This tissue helps legs and arms grow longer as your child ages. Growth plate injuries are common in active kids.
While a fall might just result in a pulled tendon or muscle in an adult, in a child it can result in a growth plate injury. If your child has suffered an injury and they are still in pain, a doctor can help with the diagnosis and treatment.
Bunions are common across all age groups. They are bony bumps that bulge just below the big toe. Chances are that if you yourself get bunions, your child is more likely to develop them as well.
While bunions often require no treatment, they can sometimes cause persistent pain. And as if finding kids shoes weren't tricky enough, it's likely to be even harder if your child has bunions.
There are different treatments for bunions, but often rest and better fitting shoes are the best treatment.
Other Foot Maladies
Other foot problems can be a lot simpler to treat and diagnose. Take blisters, for example...
If your rascal has a blister, please note: DO NOT POP IT!
The blister is their body's way of cushioning and protecting a sore spot.
Popping it will only let in bacteria and risk infection. Applying a band-aid and changing their shoes is a better plan.
Cracked heels are what happens when little feet are too dry. Dry skin is common in little kids, and you might only notice the cracks in their heels as they walk on tip-toes.
The best way to heal cracked heels is to apply some specially formulated heel balm to the skin and cover the sore feet with cotton socks before bed.
Fungal infections aren’t just for adults. Kids often get Athlete’s Foot. Sweaty, damp sneakers are the perfect place for these micro-organisms. You can head to the doctor if you’re unsure, or pick up some anti-fungal cream from the pharmacist.
Figuring out your kid’s sore feet can often be simple. With all the skipping, running, and jumping they do, they’re bound to hurt themselves at some point. Sometimes, all they need is that magic kiss better.
But if you’re unsure, don’t torture yourself with Doctor Google! Just head to the doctor’s office and have a professional do the diagnosing.
Finally, the best thing you can do as a parent to care for your child is to help prevent any foot problems. That includes making sure you get your bub into a pair of podiatrist-approved shoes, like ours! Read more about how our shoes are designed for your kid's needs, or shop our range of trendy shoes today.