Keep Your Child’s Feet Safe this Summer

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School’s out, and at FL Foot Health we know this means most children are pretty happy to trade school books and studying for more free time playing outdoors and relaxing with friends. As parents, of course, you want your children to have fun but also to be safe. Summer presents some particular challenges to children’s foot and ankle health.

Below are four suggestions for helping protect young feet during the summer

1.       Wear the right shoes. The right shoes for your child are determined by the activity they will be doing. Sneakers are a good everyday choice because they keep the foot covered and protected and provide adequate support for most normal play activities. Avoid running and playing even casual sports, such as volleyball at the beach, in flip flops. The total lack of support and protection can result in an ankle sprain or other foot injury.

2.       Keep an eye on shoe size. Children’s feet grow fast, and if your child is wearing the same shoes they wore during the school year, be sure to check them periodically to make sure they still fit. When toe boxes become tight, it not only causes foot pain but can also it can encourage ingrown toenails, blisters and trips and falls.

3.       Limit time spent barefoot. Unfortunately, sharp stones, broken glass and other objects are often difficult to spot in your grassy yard or at the beach. Using flip flops or beach shoes will help lower the risk of puncture wounds and cuts. It’s also essential to keep feet covered in public places like the restrooms at the beach or while at the town pool in order to avoid athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts.

4.       Don’t forget the sunscreen. Reapply to the feet every two hours or whenever your child comes out of the water. Remember that even if it’s not a beach or pool day, if your child is outside for a prolonged period of time in sandals, they can get a sunburn. Put sunscreen on about 30 minutes before going out.

If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, make an appointment with your podiatrist to get it evaluated and treated as quickly as possible. If you need to find a foot doctor in your town, use our online directory. Contact us if you want to learn more about conditions that can affect your family’s feet.