From the moment they take their first step, we watch as our kids gain confidence, strength and
stability as they learn to walk, run and play effectively. Their feet grow and change – but how do
you tell between what’s normal and what could be a sign that there’s something wrong or
something we can help them with? Here are 5 signs to look out for:
1. Regular trips or falls
If you’ve found yourself thinking that your little one is generally quite clumsy because they tend to
trip or fall often – and beyond what you’d consider reasonable for a growing and active child – then
it may be a good time to bring them in. Trips and falls can be caused by neuromuscular
abnormalities or deficiencies where a certain muscle group of the feet and legs may not have the
necessary strength to lift the foot up to clear the ground as expected. Additionally, it may be their
foot posture, such as in-toeing, or balance issues.
Pain occurs for a reason – it’s our body’s way of letting us know that something isn’t right. Pain in
kids is often labelled as ‘growing pains’ and we’re told there’s nothing that can be done – that’s
absolutely not the case. Even with growing pains – which describes an abnormal pull on a growth
plate within a bone – there are many things that can be done to help alleviate the pain without
medication through podiatric care (where the pain is in the feet and legs). It is also important to
identify and treat the cause of the pain, as it isn’t always growing pains, and take the right
measures to prevent the pain from coming back.
3. Hesitation in participating in physical activity or showing you their feet
If kids seem cautious or hesitant in participating in physical activities, it could be that they have
heel or foot pain. They may also try to avoid showing you their feet or talking about pain if they’re
afraid of the consequences like going to the doctor or missing out on doing something they want to
4. Can’t keep up with peers
If your child can’t seem to keep up with their peers during sport or play, there might be a
biomechanical issue with the way their bones, muscles and joints are working together (or aren’t
working together). An example that often occurs is with flat feet because the muscles tire much
more easily and can become painful.
5. Odd or awkward walking habits
If you’re seeing some walking habits that have persisted over time, bring your kids in for a check.
What may start out as play, such as walking on their toes, can turn into a real issue if the toe-
walking occurs for so long that the Achilles complex shortens and they are no longer able to bring
the heel in contact with the ground. Kids may try all sorts of games and walking styles while they
grow and play, but if you notice it very regularly and it doesn’t look right then you’re best to get it
While your kids will definitely go through various stages of growth where their feet can totally
change, our golden rule is that if you see something is significant enough to capture your attention,
or that of your family or friends, then it can definitely be worthwhile to get it checked. Here at
Footcare Specialist Podiatry we are dedicated to delivering uncompromised, quality care for the
whole family – especially our little ones! Kids need to be able to do the things they love without pain
so if you’re worried about your kids feet, give us a call on 09 214 9585 / 021 1248 684 and bring them in today!