Chances are with the end of the school year your child came home with readings lists and other summer work. At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we’d like to add one more list: a checklist for taking care of your child’s feet over the summer months. Summer brings a whole new set of activities and options for children, many of which can lead to foot trouble if the proper precautions are not taken. Here are our top tips for keeping children’s feet healthy this season:
Slather on the Sunscreen—many people forget to apply sunscreen to their feet. The skin on your feet is just as susceptible to the harmful effects of UVB and UVA rays as that on the rest of your body. On beach and pool days you should put sunscreen on the tops and bottoms of your children’s feet and reapply after swimming. If your children are wearing sandals or other open shoes and will be out in the sun shopping or sightseeing you should also put sunscreen on their feet then.
Pack the Flip Flops—summertime is high season for athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts, all of which are spread by direct contact with the virus, fungi or bacteria that cause them. If you are spending time at a community pool or local beach make sure your child keeps their feet covered around the pool and in changing areas and bathrooms—these are prime hangouts for fungal infections. Encourage your children not to share shoes, socks, towels or any items that touch someone else’s feet.
Inspect Shoes—be sure that your child is wearing shoes that match the activity they are participating in. While flip flops are good for the pool, they can lead to injury if used for playing whiffle ball or other casual summer sports. Also keep an eye on fit—children’s feet grow fast and time spent squeezed into shoes that are too tight can increase the risk of ingrown toenails and fungal infections.
Keep it Clean—wash your children’s feet at the end of every day with a mild soap and warm water. Be sure to dry completely as well, especially between the toes. Trim toenails straight across with no curved edges. If your child’s feet sweat excessively, consider a foot powder to help keep them dry.
If when caring for your child’s feet you notice anything unusual or concerning, or if your child complains of foot pain, don’t hesitate to contact our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas at our Long Beach office by calling 562-420-9800. It’s always better to get a foot concern checked than to wait and have it develop into a serious issue. Enjoy the summer and keep your children’s feet safe!