You might think that a podiatrist doesn’t typically see kids. Well you couldn’t be more mistaken! Some come in for plantar warts and ingrown toenails, which are very common in children. Others come in for gait issues, such as toe walking or intoeing. Some think that kids grow out of these gait issues, but they don’t.

Personally, I love seeing kids in my office. They bring me satisfaction knowing that a child is having some discomfort. I am pleased that I can play a role in making them feel better. There are times where your child may not wish to tell you that they’re having foot pain. In some cases, they may be too little to express it. Here are five ways you can read their mind so you can get them the care they need.

5 Ways to Know Your Child is Having a Foot Problem

Your child falls a lot

Houston podiatrist treats kids tripping when they runWe see this a lot of times with young children who are pigeon toed. They trip over their own feet. This happens even more when they run. You may find that your child doesn’t want to run because she doesn’t want to fall. She doesn’t want to get embarrassed, especially in front of her friends.

Cases like these are easily managed. I use a specialized foot insole called a gait plate to help the feet straighten out. No more pigeon-toes, no more tripping and falling. Here’s the thing, gait plates work the best with younger children. So, don’t delay coming into the office to see if it is the right solution.

Your child wants to sit out of sports

Houston podiatrist treats kids with foot pain causing them to sit out of sportsKids do really well with pain. They’re often able to power through it. There are times, however, where the pain gets so severe when they’re playing sports. It reaches the point where they would rather not play. To me, there’s nothing worse than a child stopping themselves from something they love. Especially because of pain.

There is a very common form of heel pain in children called Sever’s Disease. It affects kids ages 8 to 14. It’s the number one reason why I see kids keeping themselves out of playing sports. If you look online, the prevailing treatment for it is to wait it out and it will solve itself. I’m here to tell you that there is a better way. With proper treatment, your child should feel better in a matter of weeks, if not sooner.

Your child is having trouble keeping up with his friends

group of kids running and having funKids love to run around in packs. It’s wonderful to see a group of kids playing together. But sometimes you see a child who always at the back of the pack. He wants to keep up but struggles to do it. We can write it off as the child not being as athletic, but sometimes there’s more to it.

If that child has flat feet, it takes more energy to run around. So, running makes him tire more quickly and that’ll slow him down. Ask him if his feet are bothering him. You may be surprised that he is having foot pain. Even if his feet are getting tired, bring him into the office. I’ll be able to watch him walk and run to see if there is a cause for his feet feeling the way they do. Most of the time there is a cause with a very easy fix.

Your child is hiding her feet

Houston podiatrist treats ingrown toenails in childrenChildren are prone to developing plantar warts and ingrown toenails. When they get bad, they look pretty ugly. Often, a child will hide these issues thinking that she did something wrong. Of course, it’s nothing that you would blame her for. But she doesn’t know that!

Look for your child wearing socks all the time. Or maybe she won’t let you see her feet because she’s worried about what you’ll think. But look for signs of pain, like limping. Both plantar warts and ingrown toenails can be very painful when they get bad. Also, don’t hesitate to ask to look at your child’s feet. Just know that whatever you find can be treated in our office.

Ingrown toenails are treated with a simple, in-office procedure which provides immediate relief. For warts, we are using our innovative treatment called Swift. Not only does it eliminate warts, it stops them from coming back. Swift has less than a 1% recurrence rate!

Your child is complaining of pain

As parents, we must have a filter. We have to determine if our child is complaining because of something legitimate. We know that sometime they complain to get out of doing something else. For instance, I am more likely to pay attention to my son’s complaints of something hurting when it’s NOT bedtime. When it comes to foot pain, if your child is complaining over and over again, you need to listen to them.

We don’t think about children having foot pain. I have to tell you that it is more common than you’d think. Every day we have kids in the office with foot pain. The good news is that almost all cases are solved with conservative treatment. No surgery needed! So, don’t hesitate to come in for us to check him out.


At Tanglewood Foot Specialists, we are set up for kids. We run on time. We listen to them. We make sure they understand what the issue is and how, together, we are going to solve it. We have digital x-ray in the office and diagnostic ultrasound as well. Don’t hesitate to bring in your child for an immediate appointment.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.
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