At what age can we start podiatric treatments for children?
October 18th, 2020
Can it be too early to see a podiatrist for your child? This is a frequent question that deserves to be addressed. Indeed, is there a minimum age to start podiatric treatment? What are the indicators to make the decision to consult a specialist?
In fact, there is no minimum age to consult a podiatrist. The various biomechanical evaluations of the posture and the lower limbs can be undertaken as early as one month of age, if the child presents worrying characteristics or deformities. Even if there is no existing pathology, a parent may decide to consult to ensure the correct position of the toes, feet and legs of their child, in order to avoid more serious problems later on.
Many problems can occur at the age of gait acquisition and consulting a podiatrist early on will undoubtedly allow a treatment protocol to be put in place to rectify the situation when necessary. There are several solutions that can be put in place to rectify foot or leg malpositioning such as exercises, foot orthotics or the use of specialized footwear. If the child needs orthotics, it does not mean that he or she will have to wear them for the rest of his or her life. It may be a short or medium term treatment to correct a situation.
When to consult?
Certain observations may lead parents to want to consult for their child. Certain signs, easily observable at home, may indicate that the child could benefit from a visit to the podiatrist. Pay attention to the child’s feet and ankles to see if they are turned inward, if the arch of the foot is collapsed or if there is asymmetry between the lower limbs. Look for frequent stumbling, complaints of leg pain or rapid fatigue during physical activities. Wear and tear on shoes may also be a sign that a visit to the podiatrist is needed, for example, if the shoes are wearing rapidly toward the inside of the heel, or if one shoe is wearing out more than the other.
What to treat?
Some conditions can be treated naturally without intervention, but others need to be managed quickly. The podiatrist can establish a good diagnosis and a range of appropriate solutions to treat flat feet, growing pains, foot and leg fatigue during exercise, reluctance to walk or run, blisters, irritations, plantar warts, ingrown toenails, gait problems or posture problems. Precise management can always be beneficial.
When mechanical deficiencies are detected during growth, appropriate treatments can correct and prevent multiple complications.
The podiatrist is definitely the best trained and most specialized professional to diagnose and treat foot and leg conditions. We therefore invite you to consult the podiatrists of the Outaouais Podiatric Clinic at the first sign of a problem!
Are you thinking of consulting for your child?