What is Paediatrics in podiatry? (aka. children’s foot health)
Paediatrics is the area of health focused on children. For podiatry in particular this relates to the development & growth of children’s feet, ankles, knees & hips, observing for any current or potential problems and correcting for these possible issues.
“Children get foot problems??”
As podiatrists we often hear people say: “Children need to see the podiatrist?!”. While this isn’t the case for every child, it’s important to remember that children (despite being full of energy & youth) are still human beings – just smaller! They are still susceptible to many of the same muscle injuries, strains, ingrown toenails and skin infections that may affect their parents as well. And while their joints may not be suffering from the “wear & tear” adults experience over many years – on the flip-side, sudden growth spurts can trigger their own problems!
Parents, you are the first step to identifying problems
Parents are vital to the initial step of noticing any possible foot, ankle or walking problems, and also for making sure management of the conditions are maintained. The children themselves are of course the most important team members as they are the only ones who can report/describe any pains or symptoms they may be experiencing.
“What kind of problems are we looking for?”
Children’s development follows normal patterns, and as such things like their flexibility, reflexes, foot posture (flat to higher arches), walking style (or lack thereof), knee angles and ideal footwear type can all vary depending on their age and medical history. It is important to note if any of these factors (or others relating to the feet & ankles) seem concerning, and if so, to have it checked.