How to Catch and Treat Your Kid’s Foot Pain
The fall season means sports like football, soccer, and cross country are in full swing. Sports are great for kids because it gets them off the couch and outside where they can run around and play with other kids their age. But, where there is a competitive sport, an injury isn’t too far away. Injuries happen. And sports practices and games can put a lot of pressure on your child’s legs and feet. Here’s how you can catch your kid’s foot pain and manage injuries before they spiral out of control and keep your child off the field or cross country course.
How to Identify Foot Pain
Start by playing a role in your child’s athletic life —attend practices from time to time to see how he’s progressing and go to as many games and races as you can. This gives you an opportunity to watch your child and spot anything out of the ordinary. Is he limping when he runs? Does he seem to favor one leg over another? If you can catch this early enough, you can take action and prevent a more serious injury from occurring. Next, make sure to communicate with your child and ask if anything is wrong. If you’ve noticed your child is limping around or having trouble walking, ask if he is having foot pain.If he says yes, start asking where the pain is located. Is he feeling pain in his toes? If he’s a runner, he may not be wearing the right shoes. Is he feeling pain in his heel? He could be dealing with a mild case of Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis. Keep open communication with your child to get ahead of injuries. He’ll thank you for it!
If Foot Pain Does Exist
If your child is suffering from some minimal foot pain, start with home remedies:
- Always follow RICE —rest, ice, compression, and elevation. A lot of injuries are a result of overuse and doing too much too soon, so encourage your child to take it easy and rest his feet so his muscles can recuperate.
- Give your child anti-inflammatory medication like Motrin to help relieve the pain and discomfort.Kids need to keep themselves entertained and busy as an outlet for all the energy they have. Let your child follow his usual routine unless the pain continues or starts to get worse.
- When your child is resting,massage the affected area to help relieve pain and jump start blood flow throughout the foot.
- Exercises and stretches like calf stretches and heel drops can help strengthen your child’s muscles and tendons over time. This will help your child recover and limit the risk of another injury in the future.
- Foot orthotics like Powerstep’s Pinnacle Junior Orthotic Insoles can also help relieve any pain or discomfort your child is feeling. While insoles won’t heal the injury, they can provide extra support and comfort your child might be missing when running around and playing sports.
What if your child’s foot pain is a result of a sudden collision on the field or a fall during a cross country meet? What do you do? More than likely during a sporting event, the coaches and trainers will move your child to the sideline and get ice on the injury. For any of the following, seek immediate medical treatment:
- Numbness or tingling in and around the affected area.
- The skin appears pale and feels cold.
- There are open wounds near the affected area or it looks like bones are out of place.
If your child’s pain is constant, but isn’t a dire situation requiring emergency services, follow the home remedies above and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Injuries and accidents are unavoidable with kids, especially with how much they run around and play! However, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be when an injury strikes or your child complains of foot pain.