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Common Problems with Children’s Feet

Eltham Foot Clinic > Common Problems with Children’s Feet

Children’s Feet can experience just as many problems that the adult foot and with school starting, it’s the perfect chance to bring your kids in to have their feet checked out. You may have been putting it off for a while as the school year can be so hectic with school and extra curricular commitments.


Plantar Warts (or Verruca Pedis) are a very common issue in young children. It is a contagious virus which is usually picked up in places of communal bathing or swimming, most commonly swimming pools. Children are more vulnerable to catching warts due to their immature immune systems.

There are many effective treatments for warts which don’t necessarily cause pain. If you suspect your child has a wart, make an appointment to get assessed and we can discuss the options available.

Multiple Plantar Warts

Calcaneal Apophysitis – AKA Sever’s Disease

Unlike the name suggests, Sever’s Disease isn’t actually a disease as such, but a common pathology that occurs in pre-teen children. We usually prefer the name calcaneal apohysitis. It is the presence of pain in the back of the heel, most commonly when the child is participating in physical activity. It is more common in very active children, especially those who play high impact sports like basketball, netball, football and soccer where lots of running and jumping is involved.

Sever’s Disease usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 12, but can vary from this range. The reason for this variation is because this condition is associated with the rapid growth of the child that occurs at this stage of their life. It also more likely to occur in children who have some biomechanical abnormalities in their lower limb such as flat feet or rearfoot pronation. Treatment may include, footwear recommendations, stretching and strengthening program, padding and orthoses. If your child is complaining of pain in their heels which may be affecting their day to day activity, bring them in for an assessment.

Growth plate in the heel where pain often occurs

Ingrown toenails

Ingrown toenails are a very common pathology at all ages, but most commonly begin to occur in pre teens and teenagers. Sometimes this can occur because they have started cutting their own toenails and may not be doing it properly. Other times they will occur due to the shape of the nails and the way that they grow. Ingrown toenails will present as pain in the side of the toenail. This can be as mild as a bit of discomfort wearing shoes or it can also present as more severe with swelling, redness, pus and infection.We recommend treatment at the onset of symptoms as soon as possible as to avoid any infections. We are able to cut the nail in a way to stop the nail from being ingrown.

However some people will experience reoccurring ingrown nails no matter how they are cut. For these patients, we suggest a partial nail avulsion which is a procedure done in the clinic under a local anaesthetic to permanently remove a small portion of nail from the side to stop the ingrown part of the nail from growing back. This is a very common and successful procedure. If your child (or yourself) suffer from ingrown nails, please come in and we can discuss your short and long term treatment options.

Ingrown toenail with inflammation

Flat feet

Pronation is when the feet roll in, this can cause stress on multiple structures in the feet and makes the foot more susceptible to injury or pain. Pronation is normal, and every foot rolls in slightly, but not always symptomatic. Some common issues which may arise from an over pronated foot may include – but not be limited to – pain in the heels, arches,
ball of the feet, knees or ankles.

If your child is complaining of any pain in their feet or legs, we strongly suggest a biomechanical assessment to see if over pronation may be contributing to their issues. We will give you a working diagnosis and discuss the best treatment plan going forward. This may include, but not be limited to, footwear changes, orthoses, a stretching and strengthening program, shockwave therapy, modification of activities and general pain management techniques.

If your child is not complaining of pain, but you are concerned about the way their feet look when they are standing or walking, it is also good to get them assessed for peace of mind and conservative advice to best manage their feet to prevent any future issues.


Intoeing or “pigeon toes” is when a child walks with the feet pointing i nwards insteadof forwards. On some children, this can be quite noticeable and may cause issues such as tripping or sore legs and feet. On other children, it may be only mild and may not cause any concern. Usually a parent will notice the unusual gait pattern and wish to seek a professional opinion.

We can assess your child to see how mild or severe the intoeing may be, and during their biomechanical assessment we can pinpoint any other areas of concern which may be contributing to their gait. We may suggest particular footwear, recommend customised orthoses, give a stretching regime or even refer on to other medical practitioners for alternate assessments or opinions.

Intoeing child

If you’re unsure about your child’s foot health don’t hesitate to come in. Early intervention offers the best prognosis and more often than not we will reassure you that foot development is tracking well. Give us a call on 9431 1138 to put your mind at ease today.