Warm weather brings special challenges to your child’s feet. Children are more active in the summer with many outdoor activities and are often tempted to run around barefoot or in minimally-supportive footwear like flip-flops.
It’s up to us as parents to ensure that a child’s feet are healthy and pain-free so they can avoid injuries while out in the summer sun.
Common Children’s Foot Injuries While Playing Warm-Weather Sports
Basketball requires shoes with high ankle support, plenty of shock absorption, and a stiff sole. This is because of all the jumping and fast direction changes in this sport. Players are at risk for plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue running along the sole of the foot; ankle sprains; tendonitis.
If your child plays tennis with its need for side-to-side motion, look for authentic tennis shoes that have flexible soles and support both sides of the foot. Tennis players have a greater chance for injuries like plantar fasciitis and ankle sprains, as well as skin contact issues like corns and calluses.
Soccer requires lots of jumping and lateral movements, which can bring on heel pain and shin splints. Make sure that your child’s cleats have multiple cleats on the heel and that the shoe has lots of room for cushioning socks.
With all types of sports and even just for walking, a custom-fitted orthotic can help provide additional support and more control of foot motion. If your child is having a problem walking – are you noticing a limp or favoring one foot over the other? – please contact us for a complete assessment.
Protecting a Child’s Feet While Enjoying Sports
With guidance from the coach, select shoes appropriate to each sport. For example, high-top sneakers can provide important ankle support for basketball players. The right shoe can protect your child from injury while also improving his or her sports performance.
Always measure both of your child’s feet when buying any type of shoes. Children’s feet grow fast! Avoid using previously-worn shoes as they will not fit your child properly.
Make cushioning socks made of a natural/synthetic blend that wicks moisture away from an important part of preparing for practice or games. Look for small seams to prevent irritation.
Keep your child in the game, but don’t let them play through pain! Foot or ankle pain is not normal – get professional help right away.
Let Us Help with Any Foot Pain or Skin Problem
Foot or toe pain is not normal! If you have any discomfort from arthritis, an injury or just from overuse, please call Michele Kurlanski, DPM at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Kurlanski offers expert and professional podiatry services in Cumberland County, Maine. Please call us today at 207-774-0028 to schedule your appointment in our Scarborough office.