Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, a foot and ankle specialist in Annapolis, Maryland, is dedicated to children's foot care. As a pediatric podiatrist, we specialize in caring for your little one's precious feet, addressing common concerns such as heel pain, ingrown toenails, flat feet, plantar warts, and sports injuries. 

Recognizing foot pain in children can be difficult if your child doesn't talk. There are signs that your child could be experiencing foot or ankle pain. Here are some signs your child could be suffering from foot or ankle pain. children running | pediatric podiatrist

1. They want to skip their favorite activities

2. They ask to be picked up or carried more

3. They say or point to their feet 

4. They pull or point to their feet

5. They don't want to wear shoes or socks

Just like adults, children can experience all types of foot and ankle pain.

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Here are Some Common Foot Problems in Children:

Heel Pain: Don't Let It Slow Your Child Down

Heel pain in children can be a common concern, often related to a condition known as Sever's Disease, or calcaneal apophysitis. This condition typically affects active children between the ages of 8 and 14 as they grow. The growth plates in the heel bone become inflamed and cause discomfort.

How to Address Heel Pain:

  1. Rest: Encourage your child to take breaks from physical activities that exacerbate the pain.

  2. Supportive Footwear: Properly fitted shoes with cushioned insoles can help alleviate discomfort.

  3. Stretching Exercises: Gentle calf and Achilles tendon stretches can be beneficial.

  4. Ice Packs: Applying ice to the affected area can reduce inflammation.

  5. Visit a Pediatric Podiatrist: If the pain persists, consult a specialist for a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan.

Ingrown Toenails: Avoiding Painful Nuisances

Ingrown toenails are a painful condition where the nail grows into the surrounding skin, leading to inflammation and infection. Children can be particularly susceptible due to their rapidly growing nails.

How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails:

  1. Proper Nail Trimming: Teach your child to cut their toenails straight across, rather than in a curved shape.

  2. Comfortable Shoes: Ensure they wear shoes that provide ample toe space.

  3. Avoid DIY Fixes: Never attempt to remove an ingrown toenail at home. Seek professional care.

  4. Professional Intervention: If an ingrown toenail occurs, consult a pediatric podiatrist for safe and effective treatment.

Flat Feet: Addressing Arch Concerns

Flat feet, or pes planus, is a common issue among children. It occurs when the arches of the feet do not develop properly, causing the entire sole to make contact with the ground.

How to Manage Flat Feet:

  1. Observation: In most cases, flat feet in children resolve as they grow. Regular monitoring is essential.

  2. Supportive Shoes: Arch-supporting footwear can help alleviate discomfort.

  3. Custom Orthotics: A pediatric podiatrist can recommend and provide custom orthotic inserts if necessary.

Plantar Warts: Dealing with Stubborn Bumps

Plantar warts are contagious, painful growths on the soles of the feet. Children are susceptible due to their developing immune systems.

How to Treat Plantar Warts:

  1. OTC Treatments: Over-the-counter wart treatments may help, but consult a specialist for persistent warts.

  2. Professional Treatment: A pediatric podiatrist can offer a range of treatments

Sports Injuries: Keeping Young Athletes on Their Feet

Active children often face the risk of sports-related injuries, including sprained ankles, fractures, and overuse injuries. Prompt treatment is vital to ensure a swift recovery.

Sports Injury Care:

  1. Rest and Immobilization: Depending on the injury, rest and proper immobilization may be necessary.

  2. Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation exercises can aid in the healing process and prevent future injuries.

  3. Consultation with a Specialist: A pediatric podiatrist can accurately diagnose and treat sports-related foot and ankle injuries.

Eric Harmelin, DPM
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Experienced Amputation Prevention Specialist and Podiatrist in Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie, MD.
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