Friday, July 31, 2009

Back To School Tips

As you prepare your child for a return to school, keep these tips in mind to be sure they have a safe and happy school year.

The following health and safety tips are from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):

Remind your child that she is not the only student who is a bit uneasy about the first day of school. Teachers know that students are anxious and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.

Point out the positive aspects of starting school: It will be fun. She'll see old friends and meet new ones. Refresh her positive memories about previous years, when she may have returned home after the first day with high spirits because she had a good time.

Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk to school or ride with on the bus.

If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with her) to school and pick her up on the first day.

Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.

Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the your child’s body weight.

Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles.
Consider a rolling backpack. This type of backpack may be a good choice for students who must tote a heavy load. Remember that rolling backpacks still must be carried up stairs, and they may be difficult to roll in snow.

Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.

Try to get your child's school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines.

Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60%. Restrict your child's soft drink consumption.

As always, if you have any concerns about your child's foot health, please call the office to set up an appointment. 419-423-1888

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Parents: Avoid kids' foot problems with the right shoes

It's about time to go back to school! As you prepare your child for his or her first day, keep the following tips in mind before you buy those stylish new shoes that every child wants.


Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when buying shoes. That doesn’t mean you should buy shoes that are too big—oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. A good fit is about a finger's width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe. Tight shoes can cause blisters, corns and calluses on your child’s toes, blisters on the back of the heels or worse, ingrown nails, which can become infected. Signs of infection from ingrown nails include pain, redness or fluid draining from the area. If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon, who can perform a simple, safe in-office procedure to remove the nail.


Shoes lose their shock absorption over time, so inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support. Replace any shoes with wear and tear around the edges of the sole. When buying shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe doesn’t bend in the middle of the sole. Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains and stress fractures.


Children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toe box, maximum arch support and shock absorption. The best shoes to buy are oxford, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Pediatric Heel Pain

What is Pediatric Heel Pain?

Heel pain is a symptom, not a disease. In other words, heel pain is a warning sign that a child has a condition that deserves attention. Heel pain problems in children are often associated with these signs and symptoms:

Pain in the back or bottom of the heel
Walking on toes
Difficulty participating in usual activities or sports

The most common cause of pediatric heel pain is a disorder called calcaneal apophysitis (see below), which usually affects 8- to 14-year olds. However, pediatric heel pain may be the sign of many other problems, and can occur at younger or older ages.

What is the Difference Between Pediatric and Adult Heel Pain?

Pediatric heel pain differs from the most common form of heel pain experienced by adults (plantar fasciitis) in the way pain occurs. Plantar fascia pain is intense when getting out of bed in the morning or after sitting for long periods, and then it subsides after walking around a bit. Pediatric heel pain usually doesn't improve in this manner. In fact, walking around typically makes the pain worse.
Heel pain is so common in children because of the very nature of their growing feet. In children, the heel bone (the calcaneus) is not yet fully developed until age 14 or older. Until then, new bone is forming at the growth plate (the apophysis), a weak area located at the back of the heel. Too much stress on the growth plate is the most common cause of pediatric heel pain.

Calcaneal apophysitis.

Also known as Sever's disease, this is the most common cause of heel pain in children. Although not a true "disease," it is an inflammation of the heel's growth plate due to muscle strain and repetitive stress, especially in those who are active or obese. This condition usually causes pain and tenderness in the back and bottom of the heel when walking, and the heel is painful when touched. It can occur in one or both feet.
Tendo-Achilles bursitis. This condition is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sac (bursa).
You can find more information about heel pain at
If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing heel pain, please give the office a call to set up an appointment with Dr. Vail (419-423-1888).

Monday, July 20, 2009


Healthy Alternatives...Check it Out!


Our mission is to build joyful community around children and be quickly accepted into public, private and home schools as a free, innovative, celebratory fitness and nutrition program, resonating with the child...and with the child's family. The goal is for the child to develop the love and habit of moving through space and to carry forward the power of muscular, nutritional and psychological well being.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Safe Alternative, Non-toxic Nail Polish For Kids

Piggy Paint™ is a water-based nail polish. There are no toxic chemicals. The resins are polyacrylic and polyurethane latexes with residual monomers well below 100 parts per million.
The acrylic and polyurethane resins are present in the polish in the form of latexes-emulsions in water-very similar in form and function to milk. The term “resin” is quite generic and refers to any polymer which can form a film as it dries. In this sense, proteins, celluloses, sugars, and DNA, to name a few “natural” polymers, are resins and none of these are any less harmful than the resins we use in our polish.

The only co-solvent is a diglycol ether. All colorants are FDA-certified for cosmetic use. Not only is it manufactured in the United States, but all of the raw materials come from United States suppliers as well.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Perhaps your child is old enough to become a camp counselor! Check out this site:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kids Camps

Looking for a summer camp for your child?, the Internet's Premier Summer Camp Directory, has been the destination website for finding summer camps and summer programs in the United States, Canada and worldwide since 1995. Start your search for camps!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Summer Foot Safety - By the editors of Parents Magazine

Don't let common foot problems plague your kids' tootsies -- get quick fixes with these doctor-backed tips. Thanks to flip-flops, sandy sneakers, and infections that lurk at public pools, kids are particularly likely to have foot problems during the summer. You can treat most of them at home, but call your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Problem: Blister
Cause: Friction makes the outer layer of skin separate from the lower layers.
Treatment: Keep it clean and bandaged, and apply antibiotic ointment if it ruptures.
Prevention: Make sure your child wears socks with her sneakers. Put petroleum jelly or moleskin on problem spots to reduce friction.

Problem: Athlete's Foot
Cause: Scaly, itchy skin or painful cracks between toes are caused by a fungus that likes dark or wet environments.
Treatment: Thoroughly wash and dry feet, and apply an over-the-counter athlete's-foot spray. Call your pediatrician if symptoms don't improve in three to four days.
Prevention: Don't let your child share shoes. Frequently air out his shoes and insoles, and have him wear sandals at public pools and in locker rooms.

Problem: Ingrown Toenails
Cause: If the big toenail hasn't been cut straight across, it can dig into the skin.
Treatment: Ease pain and swelling by soaking the foot in warm water three to four times a day for 20 to 30 minutes.
Prevention: Trim nails straight across so they don't extend past the tip of his toe.

Problem: Plantar Warts
Cause: These hard, painful growths on the sole are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (different from sexually transmitted ones).
Treatment: Start with over-the-counter wart remedies; however, plantar warts are often resistant and need prescription medicine. Sometimes, a dermatologist or podiatrist will burn, cut, or laser off the wart.
Prevention: Don't let your child share shoes, and make sure he wears sandals in public locker rooms and at pools.

Problem: Stubbed Toe
Cause: Young children can bump a toe when they're learning to walk or if they're barefoot or wearing sandals.
Treatment: Apply an ice pack. Call your doctor if your child can't move his toe, the nail is loose or detached, or there's blood under more than one-third of his nail.
Prevention: Try to cushion or remove low-lying hard edges around your home and keep high-traffic areas clear.

Copyright © 2007. Reprinted with permission from the August 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

Happy Feet...

Happy Feet...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Family!

= Happy Family!