Video: A Podiatrist Explains Common Issues with Children’s Feet

In this brief video, a podiatrist explains common foot problems in children, including verrucas (*warts) and curly toes, and the possible solutions.

Editor’s Note: Video Highlights

  • When assessing children’s feet, podiatrists are interested in symmetry and good developmental progression
    • They ask about the child’s birth as well as key stages like crawling and walking
  • childrens-feet-issuesThe most common problem with children’s feet is verrucas – known in the US as warts
    • The video states that warts or verrucas are a normal infection and don’t necessarily need treatment – unless the child is limping or in pain due to the wart
  • The second most common problem is curly toes – which looks like crossing-over or overlapping toes, or toes that are more crooked than they should be
  • For children under 4, the podiatrist can tape the toes and help straighten them out over a couple of months
    • This is because at young ages the toes are still soft with lots of cartilage
    • However, they may also need an insole in their shoes
  • Another common issue is tiptoe walking – but it is only a problem is the child cannot obtain heel contact with the ground
    • If there is significant tightness in the calf muscle because of contstant walking on tiptoe, then calf muscle stretches and a foot assessment may be needed
  • Flat feet should be looked at by a podiatrist – symptoms can include foot tiredness, tilting and rotating feet – and family history of foot problems is a risk
  • Children can also suffer from painful heels – which occurs when they get an overpull of the heel due to uneven growth
    • These kids may be a bit flat-footed and they might need shoe insoles and stretches
  • Occasionally children can also get bunions – starting as early as eight years of age
    • Bunions have a strong family history – so are inherited to a large degree
    • Evidence shows that surgery on young children with bunions is NOT a good idea
    • Your physician or podiatrist is likely to take less extreme measures until they grow to age 18 or 19 and their bones have stopped growing
  • Typical foot treatments for children include shoe and exercise advice, specialized insoles (also known as orthotics), which are often shaped specifically for the child

Editor’s Note: *clarification provided for our US readers.


About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


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