Children grow and develop at such a fast rate it can often be difficult as a parent to tell what is normal and what isn’t. So when should your child visit a podiatrist?
Below is a handy guide of what you should be looking for. If you are concerned about your child’s gait and feet then it is best to visit one of Melbourne podiatrists for assessment.
Children’s Feet and Leg Symptoms
If your child gets any symptoms in their legs or feet then they should be assessed by one of our Melbourne Podiatrists. Poor functioning feet can often be the cause of foot pain, ankle pain, shin pain, knee pain, hip pain and even back pain. Growing pains or night pain can also be the result of poor foot mechanics.
Children’s Feet and Ankles
Shape – Check your child’s foot shape it should be straight. If it’s curved or shaped like a banana then see one of our Melbourne podiatrists. Bony lumps and bumps on top of the feet may indicate excessive arch collapse and should also be investigated
Symmetry – Both feet should look similar. If they are not then get your child’s feet assessed.
Ankles – Do your child’s ankles excessively roll in? If so then your child may have flat feet and this may cause problems with your child’s gait. Our Melbourne podiatrists can help.
Arch – There should be some arch visible on weightbearing. If the arch collapses completely on weightbearing then it could indicate flat feet. This should be investigated further.
Toes – Alignment should be straight. Clawed, retracted or curly toes should be seen by a podiatrist.
Children’s Walking or Gait
Angle of Gait – The normal adult angle of gait is slightly out-toed. When children first start walking they will be more out-toed but as they near the age of 3-4 then they should ideally be walking straight like an adult. If your child isn’t walking straight by age 4 it is recommend to see one of our Melbourne podiatrists for further assessment.
Intoeing – Whilst intoeing is not unusual in young children (especially around the age of 3) any intoeing should be further assessed to determine the cause.
Toe Walking – Toe walking is also not uncommon in children under the age of 3 but like intoeing it should be investigated further by a podiatrist to determine the cause.
Symmetry – If your child’s legs aren’t symmetrical when they walk then you should make an appointment with a podiatrist.
Children’s Feet – Play it Safe
Whilst it can often be difficult as a parent to know what is normal for your child’s feet if you have any concerns then it is best to play it safe and see a podiatrist, the earlier the better. We recommend age 3-4 as a good age to have a check up with one of our Melbourne podiatrists, even if there are no symptoms or obvious concerns.
Our Melbourne podiatrists are experienced in children’s feet and gait and can advise you on what is normal and if required what is the best treatment. Often the saddest words we hear from parents are “I wish I had brought my child in earlier”.