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Caring for Your Child's Foot Injury

Has your child been complaining about foot pain? Proper care of sports injuries will protect your child's feet and permit proper healing. Your Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Niceville, FL, podiatrist, Dr. Cosimo Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel of Emerald Coast Podiatry, treat foot and ankle conditions in patients of all ages.

Common causes of foot injuries in children

Your child's foot pain could be caused by:

  • Bruising of the soft tissues in the foot
  • A bone bruise
  • Cuts
  • Fractured bones or stress fractures
  • Sprains
  • Tendon injuries
  • Bursitis
  • Plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heels to the toes)
  • Sever's disease (heel pain caused by stress on the growth plate in the heel bone)

What to do if your child complains of foot pain

Minor foot injuries can often be treated at home. If your child complains of foot pain after a game, practice, or a backyard play session, follow these tips:

  • Sideline your child: The injury won't heal if your child continues the activity. Playing despite the pain could turn a stress fracture (crack in a bone) into a regular fracture or cause joint instability or chronic pain. In many cases, your child's injury will feel much better in a week or two.
  • Ice or heat the injury: Ice decreases swelling and pain and should be used for the first 24 hours. After the first day, a heating pad may be more helpful.
  • Apply an athletic bandage: Wrapping an athletic bandage around the injured area reduces swelling and helps support joints.
  • Offer pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, ease pain and decrease inflammation.
  • Call the podiatrist: Call your Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Niceview, FL, foot doctor if your child has severe pain, can't walk easily, or put any weight on the foot, or the foot is obviously deformed. Your child should also see a podiatrist if mild to moderate pain doesn't improve after a week or two. Depending on the cause of the injury, your child may benefit from crutches, walking boots, casts, braces, splints, corticosteroid injections, or physical therapy. If your child frequently injures his or her feet, a foot imbalance, gait problem, or arch issue may be to blame. Fortunately, your foot doctor can design custom shoe inserts that prevent painful injuries by keeping your child's foot properly aligned and supported.

Are you concerned about sports injuries or other foot or ankle problems? Call your podiatrist in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Niceville, FL, Dr. Ricciardi and Dr. Neil Patel of Emerald Coast Podiatry, at (850) 862-4119 to make an appointment for your son or daughter.

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