Common Foot Problems for Kids

Kids are hard on their feet, running barefoot outside and jumping around on the playground. To top it off, a child’s feet don’t stop growing and developing until they’re well into their teen years. Growth spurts, injuries, and other foot issues can cause discomfort and pain.

Kids experience many of the same foot problems that adults do — from ankle sprains to plantar warts — but some conditions are unique to children’s growing feet. For comprehensive pediatric foot care, turn to the expert podiatrists at Hoosier Foot & Ankle.

A stubbed toe or a blister might cause tears at first, and these minor foot issues typically heal quickly with at-home care. But when does a foot problem need professional care? Here, we highlight some of the most common foot problems that affect kids.

In-toeing and out-toeing

In-toeing — being pigeon-toed — is a condition where toes point inward toward when you walk. Out-toeing is the opposite, where toes point out to the sides, instead of straight ahead. Both are common in children when they’re babies and first learning to walk.

Most of the time, in-toeing and out-toeing aren’t a cause for concern. Children typically outgrow these issues around age 5. If you notice irregular foot alignment after age 5, or if your toddler hasn’t started walking by the time they’re 2 years old, make an appointment for a foot evaluation.

Flat feet

Flat feet may develop if arches don’t form properly. Having flat feet or low arches doesn’t always mean a child experiences foot pain. However, chronic foot pain in kids is often caused by flat feet.

Ensuring your child wears shoes with arch support can help relieve discomfort and promote healthy bone, muscle, and tendon growth. Correcting flat feet in childhood can reduce a person’s risk of foot problems later in life.

Ingrown toenails

An ingrown toenail is a common foot problem for kids — when the corner of the nail grows down into the skin. It’s often painful, and it can lead to infection if left untreated. Skin may become red, swollen, and painful to the touch.

Treating ingrown toenails may involve removing the portion of nail embedded in the skin and treating the area with antibiotics to eliminate an infection.

Plantar warts

Plantar warts are lesions on the feet that may cause pain when you put weight on the affected area. They can look like calluses with small black dots at the center. Plantar warts can develop anywhere, but they’re most common on the soles of feet, where small cuts can allow the wart virus to enter the body.

Kids are more likely to get plantar warts because they haven’t built up immunity to the virus that causes the warts. Plantar warts are usually easy to treat.

Growing pains

Kids grow fast, and their feet are no exception. When bones grow, they’re softer and can be more susceptible to injury. Playing sports can increase your child’s risk of suffering a foot or ankle injury as bones develop.

Hoosier Foot & Ankle has podiatrists with extensive pediatric training on staff to diagnose and treat the common foot and ankle issues children face. If your child is suffering from foot pain or you’re concerned about growth and development of their feet, don’t hesitate to book an appointment. Call the location closest to you, or request an appointment online today.

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