Those lazy, hazy days of summer can lead to some not so relaxing foot issues for children. At Paul Klein, DPM, FACFAS, we see an increase in the number of injuries and skin disorders we treat in our younger patients once school is out. Many summer foot problems can be avoided, however, with a few simple steps.
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
The burning rays of the sun don’t discriminate—feet are just as susceptible to sunburn as the rest of your body. At the beach or pool, remember to apply sunscreen to the tops and bottoms of your children’s feet and to reapply each time they come out of the water. Use a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays. If your child is going on an outdoor field trip such as an amusement park and is wearing sandals, coat their feet well before they leave.
Keep feet covered.
As much as children love to run barefoot, it’s not a good idea. Sharp objects hidden in the grass, sand and yard can cause cuts and puncture wounds. Shoes also protect your child’s feet from coming in direct contact with the fungi, bacteria, and viruses that cause athlete’s foot, warts, and fungal toenails.
Limit use of flip-flops.
Although flip-flops are fine at the beach or around the pool, wearing them as daily summer shoes will more than likely leave your child with hurting feet to go back to school. Traditional flip flops have no arch support or back strap and provide no cushioning when your child walks. If a child runs in flip-flops they have a much greater risk of a foot injury or ankle sprain.
Check feet daily.
Inspect your child’s feet when they bathe each day. Look for any cuts, blisters, bruises, growths or other changes that may indicate a problem. If you do find something abnormal, make an appointment at our Wayne, New Jersey office by calling: (973) 595-1555 so that our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein, can examine your child’s feet. He will diagnose and treat any problems promptly, so your child can get back to enjoying summer fun.