Pediatric footcare is not something most parents schedule into their children’s routine healthcare checkups, but it might be a good idea. Parents who are concerned about their child’s lower limb development, gait or sports injuries can consult with a certified Pedorthist for assessment, advice, and possible treatment.
According to Meghan Knox, Canadian Certified Pedorthist and Guelph Clinic Manager at BioPed, concerned parents often bring their kids in for assessments. “Parents are often concerned about flat feet. We go over what age is appropriate to start taking care of flat foot, when to treat, and whether the condition is symptomatic versus asymptomatic,” she says. “We also see kids whose parents have concerns that they are not walking right or if they are wondering if their gait is developmentally normal.”
From New Walkers to Sporty Teenagers
Pedorthists see a wide range of pediatric patients of all ages for a variety of lower limb concerns. Some common signs that a child should be assessed by a certified Pedorthist include:
- Pain in feet, ankles, legs, hips, or lower back
- Reducing or avoiding physical activity because of pain
- There is a significant difference between feet
- Ankle seems to be rolling either in or out
- Soles of shoes are wearing out quickly
- Toes point inward or outward
- Child walks on the balls of their feet
According to Meghan, some children require treatment while others are simply monitored. “Some parents bring their little new walkers in as early as 2 years old. We don't always treat little ones, but we monitor them annually. We make sure that growth is occurring as we would want it to be. If we need to intervene, that can start at any age, but it is always dependent on the individual child’s needs,” she says.
Meghan says that it is common for older kids who participate in sports to come in for an assessment. “Sometimes older kids in sports may need a knee brace for growth plate support or ankle brace to help with a recurring injury.”
Painful growing pains are another reason why children may need to have a lower limb assessment done by a certified Pedorthist. While a lot of children experience some degree of growing pains, there are instances where orthotics will help.
“There are things that people can do for their kids to help them through those growing pain years. We do an assessment to see the exact location of the pain and when the pain occurs. This helps guide us and decide if it requires treatment or not,” explains Meghan.
Pediatric Footcare Solutions
For more information or to schedule a free lower limb assessment for anyone in your family, visit the helpful team at BioPed online or call them at (519) 821- 7310. BioPed is located at 102 Wyndham Street North in Guelph.