Four Tips to Promote Healthy Foot & Ankle Development
Along with teaching your child how to speak and eat, walking is a major step on the parenting check-list. Making sure that your child’s feet and ankles are developing correctly is even more important. There are a variety of foot and ankle conditions that can occur in a growing child. The specialists at North Florida Foot & Ankle Center believe the following tips will help you determine if your child’s feet or ankles should be looked at by qualified pediatric podiatrist at our facility.
- Observe & Listen. Watch how your child is standing, walking and moving. Are they complaining of pain when they walk? Are they curling their toes under while walking, walking only on their toes or heels? Or, is there visible redness, swelling or injury to the feet and/or ankles? If so, a problem may already be present that will affect the growth of your child’s legs and feet. Notice the arch on your children’s feet. Too high or nonexistent arches can affect how the child stands, their posture and the health of their body. Bad support for your feet can result in back pain or pain in the legs and can affect daily life. Check out their feet. See whether they have underlapping toes, overlapping toes or mallet toes. Is there a family history of foot or ankle problems? Although surgery is needed in severe cases, many toe related deformities that inhibit walking can be fixed with other less invasive treatments.
- Test. Testing the range of motion of your child’s ankles, toes and feet can also help determine if they have problems that need to be addressed by a pediatric podiatrist. The flexibility of their feet and ankles is important for the movement of the joints and to work the muscles to reduce stiffness and promote healthy limbs.
- Take Action. You, as the parent, know your child best, so if anything appears out of the ordinary, call a pediatric podiatrist at North Florida Foot & Ankle Center and address your concerns. Talking to a specialist and having them examine your child’s feet or ankles is the best way to get a clear picture of what could be going on with your child. The most important step is to take action and get help for your child if you believe their foot and ankle development is off track.
- Follow up. For children with foot and ankle problems, it is important that they check in with their pediatric podiatrist on a regular basis so they can track the development of their feet and ankles and monitor how your child walks and moves. X-rays throughout the years will show how your child progresses and treatments can be varied accordingly. Your pediatric podiatrist is your best resource for planning out a strategy to benefit your child’s foot and ankle health.
Give North Florida Foot & Ankle Center a call today if you have any questions.
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