Could it be time to take your child to a podiatrist?
Podiatrists can be of significant help to anyone experiencing discomfort or health issues in their feet or ankles. However, you may not have considered whether it’s time to book an appointment for your child.
By keeping an eye on the way your child walks as they develop, as well as paying close attention to any reports of pain or discomfort, you’ll be able to make the right decision for your child’s foot health.
Keep an eye on their gait
One of the most important aspects to look out for is your child’s gait. The term ‘gait’ is used to describe the way an individual walks, so it’s important to ensure your child is walking correctly from a young age to avoid long-term mobility issues.
While it’s expected that very young children who have only recently learnt to walk will have the awkward footing to begin with, this will often be rectified without treatment.
However, if your child’s gait is still showing signs of significant in-toeing or out-toeing, or if they are walking with a limp or even experiencing pain, it’s certainly a clear sign it’s time to take them to a professional.
Correcting your child’s walk
In some cases, your child may be a little older before you notice the way they walk is a problem. You may then think it’s too late to see a podiatrist or help them learn to walk correctly.
There’s no reason to worry – it’s never too late for an evaluation. If your child’s feet are still growing, it may be that their feet could be easily repositioned through the use of inserts. If successful, this will likely eliminate the need for surgery or reconstruction later on.
Sometimes, children have similar issues to adults
There are plenty of reasons adults may visit a podiatrist, and many of their conditions can be applicable for children too.
For example, if your child does a lot of sporting activities, a podiatrist will be able to advise on the best way to avoid aches or splints, in addition to recommending the ideal running child for your child’s feet.
It’s also important to listen to your child when they’re describing aches or pains. They may not be able to describe what’s going on in the way an adult could, so it’s worth getting the situation checked out to ensure it’s nothing too serious.
Children seem to be magnets for verrucae, whether it is through the swimming pool or sharing a shower with siblings. Betafeet Podiatry sees many young people whose verrucae are not being resolved by over the counter treatments. Cryosurgery is the usual treatment option, although discussing any underlying health issues, such as challenges at school, sleeping poorly or other childhood stressors, may give way to other treatment options.
In all cases, a parent or guardian must accompany the child.Don’t leave it too late for your child to have his or her feet attended to – they need to last a lifetime!
We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.
Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).
Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.
The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .
Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018):
‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’
Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer. Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.
But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.
Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow. He died in June 2016, aged 74.
Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.
So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.
We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.
The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members.
I quote the following:
‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher
September is World Alzheimer’s Month.