Taking Care of the Feet of Young Athletes

Young athlete

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we know that our Los Angeles County patients have suffered through the pandemic shutdowns. One of the most affected are our young patients. As restrictions ease, children are overjoyed to be able to get back to sports, but parents need to be vigilant about potential foot problems. After an especially long period of inactivity, young feet are more likely to experience foot pain and are vulnerable to some common podiatric disorders. Here’s how parents can help:

Update Sports Shoe

The single biggest factor in podiatric health, even in young children, is shoe choice. With fast-growing feet, chances are your child will need new athletic shoes for the sport they plan to participate in. Shop for shoes that are designed specifically to accommodate their chosen sport. Basketball sneakers, for example, offer extra ankle support while running shoes have more cushioning to absorb the stress of repetitive pounding. Fit is just as important as style. Be sure to:

  • Have both of your children’s feet professionally measured
  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day after children have been active—that’s when their feet will be at their largest
  • Bring or have your child wear the socks he or she will use with their athletic shoes to ensure a more accurate fit
  • Try on both shoes and have your child walk around the store long enough to determine they are comfortable

Look for Signs of Foot Pain

In many instances, young children are not able to articulate foot pain. However, parents may notice unusual behaviors that can signal hurting feet. These include:

  • Lack of interest in sports or fitness activities they previously enjoyed
  • Lagging behind peers in casual backyard play
  • Complaints that feet feel “tired”
  • Limping, walking on tip toe or other strange gaits

If your child exhibits any of the above symptoms or complains of foot pain, make an appointment at our Long Beach office at (562) 420-9800. Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas, will examine your child’s feet and get to the source of foot pain so that they can be properly treated and back in the game in no time.