1. Your child complains of pain or limps
These signs can all be indicative of a problem with your child’s feet and should be checked by an experienced Podiatrist.
- It is never normal for a child to have foot or leg pain.
- If pain, swelling or limping lasts more than a few days you should have their feet assessed.
- If your child is experiencing ‘growing pains’ that disturb sleep, it may be associated with abnormal foot posture or joint hypermobility causing fatigued and sore muscles.
2. Your child can’t keep up with their peers.
- If your child has difficulties keeping up with their peers in sports or physical activities, it may be because feet or legs are fatigued.
- If the feet are rolling in excessively, the foot muscles are working at a mechanical disadvantage.
- Muscle fatigue is very common in kids with overly flexible, flat feet.
3. Tripping, Falling, Clumsiness or Toe-walking.
- This may be a sign of intoeing (pigeon toe), balance problems, low muscle tone or joint hypermobility and your child’s gait and foot posture should be checked.
- The feet should provide a stable base of support for children. Having a stable base helps young children to develop important gross motor skills (eg. hop, skip and jump).
- Persistent tip-toe walking may be a sign of an underlying neuromuscular disorder and should always be checked.
4. Abnormal Foot Posture or an awkward gait.
- If you notice that your pre-schooler has not developed an arch by the age of 4 years, it is time to have a foot posture assessment by a Podiatrist.
- Any noticeable asymmetry in a child’s foot posture should be carefully assessed. If only one foot is flat, it can be a sign of a tarsal coalition or even a limb length discrepancy or scoliosis.
- If you have a family history of bunions, it is important to have your child’s feet checked, as most bunions are hereditary and are related to abnormal foot posture.
5. Abnormal shoe wear patterns.
- Wearing the sole of the shoes out unevenly or abnormally may be indicative of a limb length discrepancy, intoed gait, flat feet or overpronation, high arched feet, or foot drop.
What should I do if my child has signs of a foot problem?
If you are concerned about your child’s gait or foot posture, don’t hesitate to consult with our experienced paediatric podiatrists for a comprehensive walking assessment and professional advice and treatment.