Podiatrist in San Leandro, CA
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San Leandro, CA 94577
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Posts for category: Children's Feet

Gait Problems in ChildrenThe San Francisco Bay is famous for the Golden Gate: its deep and powerful currents, its rugged surrounding terrain, and of course, the world’s most famous bridge rising from the fog. It’s an awe-inspiring view, and perhaps the defining symbol of San Francisco (if not California) for almost 80 years. There’s another type of gait that sometimes defines you—like being pigeon toed or knock-kneed. These gait problems can be a source of real concern to parents.

If you’re a new parent, you may have spent a lot of time thinking about the way your toddler ambles about. Learning to walk is a slow process that requires a lot of practice and patience, and kids usually don’t get it quite right the first time. A mild rotation in the upper or lower leg (femoral or tibial torsion) often cause toes to point at an angle, either inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing). Other conditions common in toddlers that can affect walking gait include flat feet, bow legs, knock knees, and walking on toes.

It’s still unclear why some children develop these gait problems and others don’t—heredity or fetal position in the womb may be partly responsible—but the good news is that these conditions rarely require medical treatment. In most cases your child will not experience any pain, will still be able to engage in normal activities, and will grow out of the abnormality by age 4 or 5 as they learn to control their muscles. You will have to keep a close eye on your child. Taking occasional pictures or video of your child walking can help you find out whether the rotation is getting better, staying the same, or worsening over time.

Again, these gait problems are usually nothing to worry about. However, if you do notice that the abnormality is getting worse rather than better, it affects one leg more than the other, your child is experiencing pain, or you haven’t noticed any improvement after your child has been walking for a couple of years, give Foot Doctor of the East Bay a call at (510) 483-3390. Our experts will carefully evaluate your little one’s condition to determine whether a more serious issue requiring treatment is present, or whether your child only needs a little more time and practice to develop that “golden gait.” Visit us in San Leandro, Pleasanton, or Los Gatos, CA.

By San Francisco, CA Podiatrist
September 08, 2014
Category: Children's Feet

Pediatric Foot CareHere in the East Bay, family fun is never more than a few miles away—whether you’re checking out the animals at the Oakland Zoo or checking out the universe at the Chabot Space and Science Center. However, restrictive footwear, pigeon toes, and other foot and shoe problems can stop a little explorer in his or her tracks. Here’s some handy tips for keeping children’s lower limbs healthy and happy:

Kids’ feet are quite different from adult feet. Young children have much softer and more flexible bones than grown-ups. Infants also have a distinct foot shape—compared to adults, they have curlier toes, a relatively wider forefoot, and a skinnier heel. It can take up to 8 years for the bones in your child’s foot to become fully grown and rigid.

Once your child is walking, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of shoes and boots (for outdoor walking, at least—barefoot is still best in a clean, safe home). Children need a lot of room to grow naturally, so as soon as shoes and socks start to look even a little bit tight, it’s time to buy a larger size. Never use hand-me-down footwear—shoes already molded to someone else’s foot shape can be uncomfortable and cause blistering.

Because children have less sensitive feet than adults, they may not complain even if they are experiencing unusual pressure, friction, or even twisting, so it’s up to you to check regularly for trouble signs. Trim their nails straight across to help avoid ingrown toenails, and teach your children to point their toes straight ahead when walking, as poor alignment can weaken feet and lead to other issues later. Don’t worry too much about flat-footedness unless it appears to be causing problems—because their bones are still soft, kids’ arches often disappear when standing or walking. This provides a more stable base of support for young walkers with still-developing legs.

Kids’ feet are precious and require careful attention. If you do detect any problems with your little one’s lower limbs, contact Dr. Michael Stein and the team at Foot Doctor of the East Bay as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Most childhood conditions are easily correctible if caught early enough. You can contact our San Leandro office at (510) 483-3390, Pleasanton at (925) 425-9684, or Los Gatos, CA at (408) 356-6767. We look forward to serving you and your family.

Photo Credit: Photo Stock via FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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