Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Tips for treating children's feet

When taking care of children, feet are usually the most neglected. It is very important that you pay extra attention to this part of your child’s body from the very day they are born.  Here are a few tips that will ensure healthy development of your child’s feet.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay
  1. Inspect the new born’s feet every now and then: always lookout for things that seem unusual. Health issues you may notice may not always go away on their own. Early treatment will help in correcting abnormalities, including, club foot, and other congenital conditions. Casting of the club foot in just a few days of the child’s birth may prevent surgery.
  2. Cover your baby’s feet lightly. Covers that are tight might make it hard for the baby to move freely and may even restrict normal development. Moving and kicking the feet and legs around will assist in strengthening the muscles. Activity gyms may also help babies strengthen their feet.
  3. Walking shoeless. When children first begin to walk, walking with no shoes indoors is extremely beneficial for normal development. Walking without shoes or wearing only socks helps in strengthening the foot muscles and helps in developing the toe’s grasping action. Moreover, the little walker can enjoy the feeling of various surfaces such as, lush carpets or cool flooring under their feet.
  4. Watch out for any toe-walking. While it is normal for children to walk on their toes especially when they first start to walk, however, in case the child walks only on the toes even after reaching age 2, it is best to talk to your pediatrician or podiatrist. Walking on toes could be a consequence of muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or other nervous system issues.
  5. Always cut the toenails straight. Cutting the nails straight across will prevent ingrown toenails. Some indications of ingrown toenails include swelling, redness and pain. In case an ingrown toenail erupts, you can ease the pain by placing cotton in-between the ingrown toenail and skin. After this, head to your podiatrist or pediatrician. An in-office treatment can fix the issue safely.
  6. Keep the feet dry and clean. Preventing fungal and bacterial infections starts by maintaining good hygiene. Wash the feet thoroughly at bath time. After this, make sure you dry them properly between the toes for preventing athlete’s foot.
  7. Buy shoes that fit well. Make sure you have the child with you when buying shoes for them. It is important to measure the child’s feet every time, as the feet grow quickly. Shoes that are too tight may lead to corns, blisters, calluses, or even infected ingrown toenails. In case your little one is taking their shoes off constantly, it is a red flag.
  8. Preventing injuries to the foot. Walking on a dirty surface outdoors with no footwear on may expose the child’s feet to cuts, injuries and splinters. Another issue is plantar warts, a problem which is caused by a virus that invades the foot’s sole through breaks or cuts inside the skin. Wearing proper shoes when on dirty pavement can help prevent this issue.
As your children grow up, make sure you explain to them why good hygiene is so important and show them how to take care of the feet to ensure a lifetime of good health.

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