A guide to children's foot care
A Guide to Great Children’ Foot health
- Always have your child’s feet measured for length and width before buying new footwear
- Check the size of their socks to make sure they are not too tight
- Inspect their shoes regularly for unusual wear and seek professional advice if you are concerned. Unusual wear may be the first indication that there is a problem with the foot posture or their general posture and should always be investigated by your HCPC registered podiatrist. Normally, wear is across the back of the heel or between the back and the outside. You should look out for severe wear on the inside or outside of the heel which may carry forward to the sole of the shoe. The heel area of the upper may also be broken and bulge inside or outside.
- If possible avoid the use of plimsolls in school all day every day. If a change of footwear is required in school, choose either a fitted pair of trainers – laced or Velcro fastening.
- Be aware that blisters and sores may develop with new shoes if the fit or style is incorrect.
- Inspect children’s feet regularly for inflamed tissue around the nails, red pressure marks on the top of the small joints of the toes, below the ankle bones and at the back of the heel - these signs may be attributed to ill fitting shoes.
- Remember that teenagers in particular can be secretive about foot problems and a trivial, easily rectified problem can be more serious if neglected e.g. ingrowing toenails left to fester.
- If they complain of itchy or painful areas or you see any rashes or hard, raised areas on the skin, seek professional advice immediately. It may be an easily treated fungal infection.
- Ensure feet are washed daily with simple soap and water and dry well, particularly between the toes and clean socks.
- Children in particular teenage boys have naturally sweaty feet, but smelly feet may be an indication of poor hygiene or bacterial infection which may need treatment advice.
- The toenails should be inspected regularly and trimmed as required. A good investment is a pair of nail clippers from your local podiatry clinic or chemist. Never cut down the side of nails or cut them too short. When cutting, follow the contours of the nail at the tip of the toe and always leave the corner of nail just clear of the fleshy part of the toe.