April 28, 2024

Tiny Steps: The Importance Of Paediatric Podiatry

Every parent wants to ensure they are looking after their little one's health in every aspect, including their feet.   Paediatric podiatry is a field of podiatry that utilizes different diagnostic tools and assessments to best look after the unique foot health needs of children.  Paediatric podiatry covers all ages from infancy to adolescence.  Ensuring feet are healthy from a young age can be imperative to a long and happy life for your feet.  In this blog post, we are going to cover a range of topics including:  common childhood foot pathologies and how a paediatric consultation would be conducted.

Paediatric foot conditions:

  • Ingrown toenails - Unfortunately most kids don't appropriately cut their nails, and this can often lead to ingrown toenails, ouch!   Kids also tend to wear footwear that look cool and are trendy, which in most cases are too tight and not accommodative for ingrown nails.   Getting on top of this early, can help prevent infections and reduce pain.
  • Flat feet - Although flat feet is a very common occurrence amongst children, if there are any symptoms or pain associated with it, then it should be diagnosed by a podiatrist.
  • Plantar Warts/Verruca Pedis - These warts are caused by a strain of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  Warts are very common in children, and sometimes can be painful.  These can be addressed pretty easily with prompt action.
  • Sever's disease - Otherwise known as Calcaneal Apophysitis is a very common condition amongst children aged 9-12  which involves heel pain due to irritation of the growth plate in the heel.


A paediatric consultation will involve the podiatrist taking a detailed subjective history of the child and relevant information such as birthing history, footwear and social history.  Following on from this, the podiatrist may choose to play some games with the child, which can provide a very good opportunity to examine muscle strength and coordination.  During this, a thorough GAIT analysis will be conducted in order to diagnose any abnormalities, such as excessive pronation, in-toeing or toe walking.   After this, some assessments will be conducted in the treatment chair to evaluate joint range of motion, muscle strength and to palpate any sore points.  If necessary, the podiatrist will then refer off for imaging to either confirm or rule out certain pathologies.The podiatrist will have a detailed discussion with the child and the parents, explaining any diagnosed conditions, causes and to go through treatment options. Part of this discussion could also include footwear advice for the child and avoiding any activities which may aggravate symptoms.  If any questions are raised, the podiatrist can then answer those to reassure or re-establish points that have been brought up.

Treatment plan

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, the podiatrist will then develop a treatment plan, with it's primary purpose being a holistic approach to addressing the condition at hand.  Treatment options may include: Orthotic intervention, exercises, stretches, footwear advice or even topical medicine.  In rare circumstances, the gold standard treatment option may involve surgical intervention, in which case the podiatrist can then refer off to the respective surgeon.


In most cases, the podiatrist will schedule routine follow-up appointments to re-assess how the child has been developing over the course of their childhood and adolescence.  If any adjustments are needed, they can be tailored at each appointment to ensure optical outcomes are achieved.I hope this gives you an insight into the importance of paediatric podiatry and it's usefulness within the podiatry world.  We aim to promote healthy foot habits and development through appropriate measures and hope to make it a fun experience along the way for our superstar children and their families!If you feel like you or your children may benefit from a paediatric consultation, feel free to book an appointment over on our website!