Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Your Baby's Feet

Starting at birth, you need to pay close attention to your child's feet from proper grooming to their gait.  This will provide for a solid foundation as your little one grows.  The foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body. It has 26 bones, an intricate system of ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves.  A young child's feet are very pliable and any abnormal body force can cause deformities.  Your child's feet grow very rapidly during their first year.  This is the most critical developmental stage for the foot. 

To help with normal development you should:
  • Carefully check your baby's feet. If you should notice anything that looks out of the normal, contact Dr. Vail's office to schedule an appointment.  Most deformities cannot correct themselves if they are not treated.
  • Don't restricted your baby's feet.  Shoes and booties are not necessary for infants.  They can actually restrict their movement and can inhibit the toes and feet from normal development.
  • Give your baby the opportunity to exercise their feet.  Lie your baby uncovered so they are able to kick and perform other related motions which prepare the feet for weight bearing.
  • Change your baby's position several times during the day.  If they lie too long in one spot it can put an excessive strain on the feet and legs.  Also, make sure you limit the time your baby spends in a standing activity center.  It is recommended  no more than 15 minutes at a time.
When your baby is ready to walk
You should never force your child to walk.  Your child will walk when they are physically and mentally ready.  Never compare your child with other children when it comes to walking milestones.  Each child is different and can start walking anywhere between 10 to 18 months of age.  When your baby does start to walk, you do no need to place them in shoes when indoors.  Walking barefoot allows the foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength and well as the grasping action of the toes.  When your child is walking outdoors, make sure their feet is protected in a natural made lightweight and flexible footwear.
Warning signs when your child starts walking
Once your child is on the move, pay attention to their walking pattern or gait.  It's not uncommon for little ones to walk on their tip toes, but persistently doing so is.  Dr. Vail will be able to examine your child to make the proper diagnosis and determine the best treatment options.  Children with a family history of foot problems should see a podiatrist once they start walking to ensure the feet are developing normally.
Other common childhood walking irregularities are in-toeing and Metatarsus Aductus.  With in-toeing, one or both of the feet point toward each other due to a rotation in the foot, leg, thigh, or hip. Excessive tripping, like with many walking irregularities, can reveal a more serious condition such as in-toeing.  Some ways to combat in-toeing at home include having your child stand with their heels touching and feet pointing outward and sitting with their legs crisscrossed.  Metatarsus Adductus is a bending of the foot inward at the instep resembling the letter "C".  This is prevalent in early walkers.  Tripping is also a warning sign of Metatarsus Adductus.  The Arch Angels Childrens Insoles will be able to help in maintaining your child feet in a neutral position along with stabilizing the feet and ankles.  Your podiatrist can also diagnosis and treat Metatarsus Adductus with serial casting and in more severe cases, surgery.
Since most children aren't quick to tell their parents when they are experiencing foot pain and discomfort, you should pay attention to the unspoken signs such as limping, tripping, taking one or both shoes off frequently or unevenly worn footwear.  Your young child's feet may be unstable which can make walking difficult or even uncomfortable.  A thorough examination by a podiatrist  may detect an underlying defect or condition which may require immediate treatment.

If you have any questions regarding your child's foot care, please contact us at 419-423-1888 or log onto our website at http://www.vailfoot.com/.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flat Feet in Children

What are flat feet?
Flat feet is a condition in which the foot doesn't have a normal arch. It may affect one foot or both feet. At first, all babies' feet look flat because an arch hasn't formed yet. Arches should form by the time your child is 2 or 3 years old. Flat feet, even in older children, usually do not cause any problems.

What causes flat feet?
Most flat feet are caused by loose joint connections and baby fat between the foot bones. These conditions make the arch fall when your child stands up. This is why you sometimes hear flat feet called "fallen arches." The feet may look like they have arches when your child is sitting or when the big toe is bent backward, but the arch flattens when the child puts weight on the foot.

Should I take my child to the doctor?
If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, take him or her to the doctor. Flat feet in an older child may cause pain in the heel or arch, or may cause pain when the child is walking and running. Your doctor will look at your child's feet to make sure that the pain isn't caused by a problem in the hip or the knee. Rarely, flat feet can be caused by foot bones that are joined together. In this case, the bones can't move, and the foot hurts. Your child may need to have x-rays, but your doctor probably can tell you what the problem is just by looking at your child's feet.

Will my child need special shoes or inserts?
Probably not. Your child's foot development will be the same whether arch supports are worn or not. High-top or special orthopedic shoes, "cookies" or wedges are only useful to keep the shoe on your child's foot. If your child has foot pain, your doctor may recommend a heel cup or a shoe insert. One of the products Dr. Vail may recommend is the Dr. Jill Arch Stepper (click link to view product)

Will some activities make flat feet worse?
No. You don't need to limit your child's activities. If flat feet become painful from overuse, your doctor may recommend rest. Wearing a certain style of shoe, walking barefoot, running, doing foot exercises or jumping will not make flat feet worse or better.

Can surgery help?
Surgery is not helpful for most patients with flat feet. If your child's flat feet are caused by fused foot bones, and if shoe inserts and casts have not helped, surgery may be considered. Your doctor can help you make that decision.

To view the rest of our helpful products for flat feet (click here)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Off to College and Communal Showers

It is that time of year again, back to school! If you have a first time college student there are plenty of things to be concerned about, books, tuition, and new sheets but be sure not to overlook your student's feet!  Many colleges have communal style showers which can be a breeding ground for infection.  High school athletes are also commonly exposed to public showers.  Athlete's foot is one infection that is commonly spread through public areas like pools and showers.

Athlete’s foot is a rash on the skin of the foot. It is caused by a fungus that is found and thrives on warm, damp surfaces such as around pools, public showers and locker rooms. The fungus can cause infection when it comes in contact with conditions that allow it thrive; for example, on bare damp feet. Because of this, teenage boys are especially prone to the infection.

Symptoms include itching; burning; cracked, blistered or peeling areas between the toes; redness and scaling on the soles of the feet; rash that spreads to the instep, and raw skin. Occasionally the open skin can become infected with bacteria that will cause pain and spreading redness. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot can spread to other parts of the foot, including toenails. It can also infect other parts of the body—such as the groin, inner thighs and underarms.

Tineastat is a product that clears most fungal infections in three to seven days. Broad spectrum formula treats a wide range of associated fungi with Clortrimazole, tea tree and sunflower oils, phenol, oregano, tannic acid, lavender and garlic extracts. Contains rich emollients that helps the skin retain the active ingredients long after application. This prevents immediate re-infection. Active ingredient: Clortrimazole 1%. To order tinestat visit our product store.

Ways to avoid athlete’s foot:

-Wash your feet every day and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes
-Wear footwear that allows your feet to “breathe”
-Wear shower sandals or shoes in pool areas, public showers and gyms
-Use antifungal powder in your sneakers or shoes
-Keep home bathroom surfaces clean — especially showers and tubs
If you suspect your child may have athlete's foot, visit vailfoot.com and schedule an appointment today.
sources: uclahealth.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back To School Shoes

Back to school means new shoes. This year, ensure you're purchasing shoes that will keep your children and their feet healthy.
Although tempting, do not use hand me down shoes as they could impact the development of your child's foot. Have your child's shoe size and sock size re-measured because children's feet grown and change rapidly. Consider comfort, support, and fit before purchasing a pair of shoes.

Properly fitting shoes are equally as important for the scholar athlete. Shoes should be specified to the sport or activity your child is involved in.

Tips For Choosing Footwear

-Have your feet measured each time you shop. Feet change size over time

-Put weight on your feet while they are being measured.

-Shop for shoes at the end of the day. Your feet swell throughout the day and this ensures a better fit.

-Fit shoes to the larger foot if your feet are different sizes.

-Have shoes fitted to your heel as well as your toes.

-Always try on shoes! Sizes vary depending on the brand.

-Walk around in the shoes to make sure they are comfortable.

-Leave a 1/2" space from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe.

-Always allow for "wiggle room" for your toes.

-Avoid shoes with a heel 2 inches or higher.

Tips modified from the footwear recommendations guide of The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Call us or Visit Vailfoot.com to schedule a foot exam. You can also try Deodorizing Foot Wash from out product store to keep you child's new school shoes smelling fresh.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Children's healthy feet tips

- Remember that lack of complaint by a youngster is not a reliable sign. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware of it.

- Walking is the best of all foot exercises, according to most podiatrists. They also recommend that walking patterns be carefully observed. Does the child toe in or out, have knock knock knees, or other gait abnormalties? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early.

- Going barefoot is a healthy activity for children under the right conditions. However, walking barefoot on dirty pavements exposes children's feet to the dangers of infection through accidental cuts and to severe contusions, sprains, or fractures. Another potential problem is plantars warts, a condition caused by a virus which invades teh sole of the foot through cuts and breaks in the skin. They require protracted treatment and can keep children from school and other activities.

- Be careful about applying home remedies to children's feet.

- Preparations strong enough to kill certain types of fungus, and can harm the skin.

Happy Feet...

Happy Feet...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Family!

= Happy Family!