From the time a child is born, their feet start a journey of transformation that will last several years. Along with that transformation can come many ups and downs for parents to navigate. Some issues are all part of life changes and some can require professional support.

Worrying about your child’s health is something all parents face each and every day, so we wanted to take time to go over what you should expect and when you should seek help.

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Growing pains

Growing pains are very common as your child matures and in some extreme cases it can cause quite a lot of discomfort. Many children experience the pain when they are sleeping or going to sleep - which can mean bedtime is a challenge!

Sometimes growing pains can be exacerbated by the sporting activities they undertake so it's important to monitor how and when the pain presents itself.

Growing pain can come and go and fluctuate in strength. Luckily most children will (as the name suggests) grow out of it. However, if the pain becomes so intense that it affects your child’s life on a daily basis, talk to a podiatrist who can assess if the growing pains are related to the child’s development. They can suggest strategies to help strengthen and align the lower limb to help reduce this problem.

Heel pains

As with adults, heel pain can also occur in growing children, usually between the ages of 8 and 13 as they increase their participation in sporting activities. Heel pain can be quite stressful for any child and, if left unmanaged, can hang around for quite some time.

A podiatrist will be able to determine whether or not the heel pain is related to the developmental process and give advice about ways to alleviate symptoms.

Warts and Fungus

We find that children tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults. Why is this? Well children love to walk around barefooted don’t they?

Warts (or what we call plantar warts) that appear on the sole of the foot tend to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries. They can sometimes grow into clusters and become painful if left unchecked - they are also very contagious!

Fungus can also be an issue, found in between toes thanks to damp, warm feet. Dirty, well worn school socks are known to be great breeders! Fungus issues can cause extreme itchiness and dry, flakey skin.

A podiatrist can help with both of these issues through advice on medication or removal of warts.

Shoes that actually fit!

Providing your child with the right pair of shoes to suit their individual needs is one of the most important purchases you can make to help. The right pair of shoes can help prevent future health issues.

Did you know?

A child’s foot will double in size by the age of one and they are approximately half their adult length by 18 months of age?

Between the ages of 5 and 12 growth is approximately 9mm per year?

This is why we recommend you undertake a size check at least every one to three months up to the age of 3, every four months up to 5 years and every six months from 5 years.

See a podiatrist to get advice on what style and size shoes will help your child through their development.