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Posts for category: Children's Foot Care

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
September 18, 2018

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we have a vested interest in this cause. Why? Studies show that obese children often continue on to be obese in adulthood. Carrying excess weight is harmful to your feet and ankles. The added strain is a cause or contributing factor for many foot and ankle disorders, including plantar fasciitis, sesamoiditis, flat feet, chronic ankle instability, and more. In addition, being obese greatly increases your risk for systemic diseases—many of which also have serious consequences for your feet—like diabetes and hypertension. Below are some simple steps to take now to help prevent your child from becoming overweight:

  1. Make dietary changes. Obviously, food choices are a big factor in maintaining a healthy weight. Too many high fat and calorie snacks and processed foods are readily available and inexpensive. You don’t have to change your family’s entire diet overnight. Make small choices gradually:
  • Buy more fruit and less pre-packaged snacks and desserts.
  • Teach your children to read labels and look at sugar and fat content in the foods they eat.
  • Do away with sugary drinks and encourage your family to drink more water.
  • Decrease portion size.
  1. Step up physical activity. The other part of the calorie equation is burning more calories than you take in. Look for ways to enjoy more physical pursuits as a family: bike rides, hiking, raking leaves, and rollerblading together. Even simply taking a walk after dinner is a great way to add more active minutes to the day. If your child has had a foot or ankle injury, check with our podiatrists, Dr. Ben Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, before starting new fitness activities.
  2. Put limits on screen time. Constant access to phones, computers, television, and video games will naturally disincline your child to participate in more active pursuits.
  3. Set regular bedtimes. Lack of sleep is a contributing factor to obesity. Now that school is back in session, create a schedule that allows your child to get enough sleep each night.
  4. Be a role model. Children learn by watching. If you show care about what you eat, being active and living a healthy lifestyle they will follow your example.

If you have questions about your child’s weight and foot health or have other podiatry concerns for you or your children, contact our Linden, Monroe, Edison or Monmouth Junction offices in New Jersey today by calling: 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
August 22, 2018

Here at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that parents in the Monroe, Edison, and Monmouth Junction, NJ areas will all soon be making that annual pilgrimage in search of shoes for their children to wear for the new school year. The shoes you choose for your children can have a big impact on the health of their feet now and in the future. Below are 10 suggestions to help you get the best shoes and the proper fit for your child:

  1. Don’t skimp on quality. Yes, we know there are many expenses associated with this time of the year, but footwear is not a place to cut corners. Shoes should be made of durable, high-quality materials and well-designed with plenty of cushioning on the sole and heel.
  2. Laces will provide better support and fit compared to slip-on shoes. These reduce the likelihood of ankle sprains and falls.
  3. Get feet measured professionally. Children’s feet can increase up to 2 sizes in 6 months. If one foot measures larger than the other (not uncommon), shop for shoes to fit the larger foot.
  4. Give toes some wiggle room! There should be ½ an inch space between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Avoid narrow toe boxes and pointy styles which squeeze toes together. This can encourage ingrown toenails.
  5. Late afternoon is the best time for children’s shoe shopping. That’s when feet are at their most swollen.
  6. Have your child wear the type of socks they plan to wear with the shoes you will be buying.
  7. Make sure the heel counter fits snugly. If the heel is slipping out of the shoe when your child walks, it’s too loose.
  8. Children should try on both shoes and walk around the store for several minutes to make sure they are comfortable.
  9. Check feet afterward for red spots which may indicate points of excessive pressure or friction.
  10. Run your hand around the inside of the shoes to make sure there are no rough patches or rigid stitching that could rub the skin of the foot and cause a blister.

If you have additional questions about the best shoes for your child, don’t hesitate to contact Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun (Ben) Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah. This is particularly important if your child has a previous foot injury. Call us for an appointment at 732-662-3050.

By Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care
October 19, 2017
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With fall sports in full swing, we at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care are beginning to see more young people in our office with calcaneal apophysitis or Sever’s Disease, as it is more commonly known. This condition typically affects children ages 8 to 14. It is an inflammation of the growth plate that is usually the result of excessive pounding on the heel in a sport such as basketball, track or soccer. Until the heel is fully developed, there is a vulnerable area at the back where new bone is continually forming. This spot can become inflamed with overuse.

Signs and Symptoms

Tracking down foot disorders in children, particularly those on the younger side can be challenging since they are not always able to articulate what specifically is bothering them. Some signs that your child may be suffering with Sever’s Disease include:

  • Pain, sometimes quite severe, in the back or bottom of the heel
  • Tenderness or pain when the sides of the heel are squeezed
  • Limping
  • Walking on tiptoes
  • Unusual gait or difficulty running and jumping
  • Complaints of tiredness
  • Lack of desire to participate in activities he or she normally enjoys

Treatment

If you notice any of these symptoms in your child or he or she complains of heel pain, it’s time to make an appointment at our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction, NJ office. Our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral or Dr. Nrupa Shah will get a medical history and want to know about recent sports activities. An x-ray, other imaging studies or laboratory tests may be ordered in addition to the physical examination to rule out other more serious conditions. Once a diagnosis of calcaneal apophysitis is confirmed, the foot doctor will want your child to stop or greatly reduce any activities that aggravate the heel. There are a number of treatment options available, including:

  • Immobilization—a cast or boot may be necessary to keep the foot and ankle from moving so the heel can rest and heal
  • Physical therapy—stretching and other modalities may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and heal damaged tissue
  • Orthotics—shoe inserts may be recommended to provide support and cushioning for the affected heel

The foot doctor will decide on the best treatment for your child. It is not uncommon for Sever’s Disease to recur until your child gets into his or her late teen years. If you suspect your child may be suffering from this condition, contact us for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050.