As parents, we always want the best for our children. These remarkable little ones start out helpless before racing forward with increasing independence until, before you know it, they mature into self-sufficient adults.
First-time parents often feel overwhelmed with the responsibility they have for their child. Medically, there are well visits, vaccinations, and developmental monitoring — so many concerns that something as simple and basic as foot care is easy to overlook.
At Hudson Valley Foot Associates, we get it. Chances are that your child’s feet won’t experience any problems of significance. However, you can easily build foot health into your child’s life with just a little care that may reveal developing issues as well as teaching your young one that their feet need attention from time to time.
Those foot ailments of adulthood sometimes trace back to childhood attitudes. It’s easy to take your feet for granted. They handle tremendous loads with little trouble through most of your life, so they become easy to ignore until problems start.
Yet, foot care is a simple addition to the routines you already have in place. Consider these tips — and the reasoning behind them — to care for your child’s feet.
Make a point to wash your child’s feet when you bathe them. This is also a good time to check the skin on the feet, soles, and in particular, between the toes. You’re looking for redness, irritation, or peeling skin. Dry their feet thoroughly with special attention, again, between toes. It’s also a good time to check nails and trim them if it’s necessary.
If your child isn’t walking yet, there’s little need for shoes, but clean, comfortable socks are important. Make sure they’re roomy and soft, just tight enough to stay on while remaining free enough for plenty of toe wiggling and ankle bending. Children shed a lot of heat through their feet due to the proportionately larger surface area when they’re young, so socks keep your child warm.
Shoes become necessary for toddlers to protect their feet outdoors. It’s still okay to let them move in socks or bare feet at home, and in fact this helps to build motor skills while also aiding sensory development. Measure your child’s feet frequently and be sure to purchase the right size through their rapid growth.
The right size for a toe box leaves room for movement while the rest of the foot is snug enough that feet don’t slide within the shoe. Skid resistant soles help their developing coordination. Watch for unusual or uneven wear on shoe soles. This could be an early sign of a gait problem.
In their enthusiasm for play, children sometimes shrug off minor pain. Younger kids might not articulate discomfort well, so track down the reasons why they seem to be walking off-stride or asking to be picked up. When it’s out of character, it could be a sign of aching in their feet.
We’re pediatric foot care specialists at Hudson Valley Foot Associates, and we’re standing by whenever you have concerns about your child’s feet. Contact the nearest of our five locations, by phone or online, to schedule a foot exam for your child today.