Kids’ feet can grow at a very rapid pace. Studies have shown that feet can grow up to two sizes in six months! That means the shoes you bought for them at the beginning of the school year, may not provide the best fit for them today. It is important to check their shoes to ensure they are still the right size and they have not lost support or shock absorption. When children wear shoes that are too tight, it can cause many different issues to occur. Check for blisters on the feet or back of the heel, as well as corns and calluses on the toes and ingrown toenails .

If you need to buy new shoes, choose a pair that has a little, but not too much, room for growth. There should be a finger’s width of space between your child’s big toe and the front of the shoe. Buying shoes that are too big can cause the foot to slide forward and put unnecessary pressure on the toes. Also check the toe box to make sure it is wide enough to accommodate your child’s feet , has adequate cushioning, and good shock absorption. If your child has flat feet , look for shoes that will provide arch support.

It is also a good time to check your child’s feet for other painful issues you may be unaware of.If your child is experiencing heel pain, Sever’s Disease may be the cause. This is the most common cause of heel pain in children ages 8-14. This is because the heel bone is not fully developed until at least age 14. Until then, new bone is forming at the growth plate. When there is too much repetitive stress on the growth plate through participation in sports or other activities, inflammation can develop.

Symptoms of Sever’s Disease include:

  • Pain in the back or bottom of the heel
  • Difficulty running or participating in sports
  • Pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed
  • Limping
  • Fatigue

There are several treatment options to help with Sever’s Disease:

  • Reduce or stop any activity that causes pain
  • Support the heel with temporary shoe inserts or custom orthotics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching exercises or physical therapy

There are things you can do to prevent Sever’s Disease:

  • Avoid obesity
  • Choose well-constructed and supportive shoes that are appropriate for the activity they are used for
  • Avoid or limit wearing cleats for extended periods of time
  • Avoid activity beyond the child’s ability

Often, heel pain in children returns after it has been treated because the heel bone is still growing. If your child has heel pain that comes back after treatment or doesn’t respond to treatment, it could be a sign of a different problem. Dr. Kylin Kovac and Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot and Ankle Center provide foot care for the whole family! Whether it is pain from a recent injury, or chronic pain that has been bothering you for awhile, c ontact Idaho Foot and Ankle Center today to get started on the path to recovery.

Some content provided by The ACFAS.