Spring is finally here in all its glory, but as the flowers pop up, so do multiple concerns for parents! From allergies and sports injuries to sunburn and staying up too late, there’s enough for parents to worry about without having to be concerned about kids’ flat feet! Here’s the good news: just because your child does not have an arch, doesn’t necessarily mean he or she needs help in any way.
If children with flat feet are running around, riding bikes, playing sports and generally wreaking havoc in the neighborhood, obviously, their lack of arches isn’t getting in the way of their springtime fun! If there are no signs of trouble, no treatment is necessary, and you can relax and move on to other worries, like that popsicle dripping all over your carpet.
If, on the other hand, your child seems reluctant to participate in normal activities, has acquired a limp, and is complaining of foot pain as much as never getting to sit in the front seat, then it’s time to consider treatment options. There’s no need to “freak out” though, as the kids would say. Conservative measures are typically all it takes to treat pediatric flat foot and its symptoms.
First, make sure footwear offers plenty of arch support and cushion. Investing in custom orthotics can help provide additional support exactly where your child needs it. These devices can also correct abnormal foot structures and biomechanical issues that can be aggravating the problem.
Medication and Icing the area can help ease pain and inflammation, as well. Try freezing a water bottle and having your child roll his or her arch back and forth over top of it. There are stretching exercises that are beneficial, too. It’s also a good idea to have kids rest (yeah, right). Don’t worry, though — this is easier than you think! Just replace high-impact activities with low-impact options, like swimming or kayaking, so your child is secretly resting their feet without totally stopping activity – sneaky, huh? If all this doesn’t relieve your child’s pain, then and only then will surgery be considered, but such a situation is quite rare.
So, if you have children with flat feet, don’t stress. Save your worries for the muddy footprints being tracked in and the dare devil bike stunt that appears to be developing in the front yard. If symptoms do arise, however, just dial (518) 273-0053 to reach our Troy or Clifton Park office and we’ll be happy to help.