Children’s feet are susceptible to many of the same problems that adults suffer from as well as few that are unique to the pediatric population. What’s different, however, is that children are not always able to explain what’s bothering them. At Central Jersey Ankle & Foot Care Specialists we like to provide parents with clues to tracking down a foot problem. Sometimes a child may indicate pain in a specific part of the foot but other times they may just say his or her feet feel tired or that it feels like something is in the shoe or sock. Another big indicator that a child may be experiencing foot pain is sudden disinterest in participating in physical activities or sports that they usually enjoy. Some of the more common foot problems we see in children include:
Athlete’s Foot—this fungal infection makes feet very itchy. Children may also complain of a burning sensation or dry skin. In more advanced cases there may also be blisters. The area between the toes is particularly susceptible to Athlete’s foot.
Ingrown Toenails—nails that are trimmed too short can start to grow down and into the skin surrounding the nail bed. This results in tender and painful toe that often appears red and swollen as well. If the nail penetrates the skin an infection may also develop and there can be pus or other signs of drainage around the nail.
Sever’s Disease—this is an inflammation of the growth plate at the back of the heel where new tissue is still developing. This painful condition frequently occurs in children ages 8-15 who are active in sports.
Plantar Warts—a viral infection that enters the skin through tiny cracks on the bottom of the foot causes these warts which are hard and sometimes appear to have tiny black dots in the center.
Flatfeet—all infants have flatfeet but between the ages of 4 to 6 an arch begins to form. In some children, however, the foot stays flat and this can result in pain or fatigue when walking or playing.