At Benenati Foot & Ankle Care Centers, we hope our Macomb County families are looking forward to some summer fun as we move into re-opening after staying home for so long to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, nothing can sideline a child from enjoying all the season has to offer faster than a foot or ankle injury or other disorder. Below are four common ones that we see more frequently during the summer months and how to avoid them.
- Ankle Sprains—hopefully, summer means more time for your children being physically active. While you can’t bubble wrap your kids, try to ensure the areas where they play (yard, fields, courts, and tracks) are relatively free of debris and do not have lots of divots and uneven surfaces. The best way to prevent sprains is to make sure your children are wearing appropriate athletic shoes for active play and sports. Flip-flops and summer sandals do not hold the foot firmly in place, something that is key for preventing ankles from twisting.
- Sun Burn—a bad sun burn on the feet can halt your child’s summer fun in a hurry. It also increases his or her risk of skin cancer in the future. Feet often get overlooked when it comes to sunscreen, but the skin is just as vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun’s rays as the rest of the body. On days when water sports and swimming are on the schedule, be sure to reapply a sunscreen with a least a SPF of 15 when your child comes out of the water.
- Heel Pain—the source of heel pain in children can be tricky to track down. It can be caused by shoes that have become worn down in the heel cup or consistent participation in a sport that puts pressure on the heel (such as basketball or gymnastics). Children and teens, ages 8-15, are also susceptible to a condition known as Sever’s disease. While not actually a disease, Sever’s is an inflammation of the growth plate in the heel that can occur as a child grows. If your child complains of heel pain, it’s best to have it evaluated by one of our podiatrists, Dr. Anthony Benenati, Dr. Neil Shaw, or Dr. Philip M. Watkins.
- Fungal Infections—fungi, bacteria, and viruses lurk on damp surfaces that see lots of bare foot traffic like the town pool or beach bathrooms. Have your child wear flip-flops to prevent coming in contact with any of these infectious agents that can cause athlete’s foot, fungal toenails and warts.
If your child develops foot or ankle pain or other unusual symptoms, contact our St. Clair Shores (586-779-6140) office to an appointment.