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You may think a visit to a podiatrist is just an adult thing. But did you know kids should also visit a podiatrist as least once during their childhood?
Even if your child is not showing obvious signs of foot pain or discomfort, a routine check can look for underlying issues or potential problems that could arise in the future.
Signs your child may need to see a podiatrist:
1. Your child complains of foot pain.
Kids complain, let’s be honest. But a lot of the time there is weight behind their whining. A child who complains about foot pain should be assessed by a paediatrician or podiatrist. Letting something like this go could result in long term damage that will follow your child through life. Foot pain could be caused by flat feet, incorrect fitting shoes or other underlying reasons.
2. Your child avoids physical activities like running, playing or walking.
Kids are naturally very active little beings. They will run and play at any opportunity and often run even when they are not meant too (like in the house!). A child who avoids doing these fun kid activities should be checked out because most the time there will be an underlying reason as to why. They may just not know how to express it to you.
3. Your child is injured or hurt.
If your child is hurt or injured playing sport then they should be checked by a doctor. If they injure their foot, ankle or leg, then they should also be checked by a podiatrist to make sure there has been no damage. Often we let things go thinking they will heal themselves, but with kids, it’s really important to act quickly if in doubt.
4. Your child displays unnatural walking tendencies.
Kids can be funny and they often walk in all sorts of crazy ways. But children that often display unnatural walking movements need to be checked by a podiatrist. Signs may include:
● Tiptoeing or walking on toes
● Flat feet
● Walking with feet pointing inward (pigeon-toed)
● Bowed legs or knees that knock together
● Shifting weight from one foot to the other when standing still
Whilst it is common to think children will outgrow a lot of these tendencies, some can worsen and cause long term damage. This can result in poor movement and physical activity later in life.
5. Leg or back pain.
Children can also complain of leg and back pain. It is common for kids to say their shins hurt. This is usually passed off as growing pains, but shin splints and leg pain can be a sign of poor foot health, foot misalignment or poor posture. If your child mentions any of these to you, then a trip to a podiatrist for a check up is a good step in the right direction.
Feet are pretty important assets. They take us from A to Z and everywhere in between for at least 80 years. They take a fair battering over time and foot pain and injury is a common occurrence. So it’s important to take care of them right from the early years.
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