At Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC, we know that it’s not always easy to recognize foot problems in children. Of course, if you child says that his or her foot or ankle hurts, that is a sure reason for concern. Oftentimes, however, children are not so direct. By being observant, however, you will still be able to detect clues that something is not right. Below are some signs to look for:
Your child doesn’t want to show you his or her feet. If your child fears going to the doctor, they may not tell you if something looks wrong or if their feet are hurting. For this reason, it’s a good idea for parents to get in the habit of checking their children’s feet regularly. Look for bruises, swelling—especially around the toenails (ingrown nails are a common problem in children), lumps, bruises, discoloration of the skin or toenails. Report anything unusual to the podiatrist.
Not participating in activities they normally enjoy. Voluntarily sitting out from games and activities or claiming that they are too “tired” to play could be a sign that your child’s feet are hurting them. If your child plays one specific sport frequently, repetitive stress to the same part of the foot could result in a problem such as heel pain, Sever’s Disease or turf toe.
Repeatedly tripping and falling. If you notice your child suddenly seems clumsier and is falling or tripping over things or even their own feet, it may indicate that their feet are not functioning properly. Biomechanical or muscle problems can result in an altered gait or lack of balance.
Has difficulty keeping up with friends. Another clue that there is a podiatric problem is being unable to “stay with the pack.” Whether on the sports field or during less formal neighborhood play, lagging behind can be due to foot pain or muscle fatigue.
If you do determine that your child’s feet are hurting or even if you suspect but are not 100% certain, it’s a good idea to make an appointment at our Valley Stream (516-825-4070) or Lake Success (516-327-0074) office. Our foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko can do a complete examination and determine if a foot, toe or ankle problem is the source of your child’s altered behavior.