Hurray, it's May! With Memorial Day just a few weeks away, it’s basically the unofficial start of summer…and that means you need to start planning ways to keep kids’ feet safe for the season!
Summer means lots of sweaty outdoor play, camp, pools, and lots of other fun. But it also means a higher risk of athlete’s foot from sweat, other foot fungi from unclean pool decks, foot pain and/or ankle sprains from less supportive, open-toed footwear…unfortunately, the list goes on and on.
Want to avoid some of these kids’ #footfails? Follow these 5 simple rules for kids’ summer foot safety:
- Match the shoe to the activity: When water shoes or aqua socks are recommended, use them. If sports are on the agenda for the day, put your child in a supportive athletic shoe. This one simple step will avoid a lot of summer pitfalls AND it leads to my next rule…
- Don’t put your kid in flip-flops (except by the pool or in the shower): Flip-flops slip off easily, causing kids feet to grip unnaturally to keep them on which, in turn, can cause cramps and discomfort. They also don’t protect the toes unlike more supportive sandals.
- DO opt for socks: Kids should wear socks whenever possible, since they can absorb sweat and create a blister-preventing barrier between the shoe and skin.
- Check sizes at the start of the season: While last summer’s sandals may still technically fit on your child’s foot, chances are they aren’t fitting optimally. Kids feet can grow unnoticed during the winter, so it’s a good idea to get them measured before deciding on your summer shoes, because…
- Comfort is a top priority: Any shoe your child wears should feel good the first time and every time he or she puts it on. Forget breaking-in periods—that is not something you should account for when selecting your child’s footwear.
If your child is experiencing any foot or ankle pain, don't wait to get it checked. Schedule an appointment with Houston pediatric podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider. He'll do a comprehensive evaluation to see what the problem is and get it solved quickly.