Healthy Kids    

New school year tips from a foot and ankle surgeon



Be sure to buy shoes that fit properly

Be sure to buy shoes that fit properly

Kids’ feet grow and change quickly, which means you’ll likely be shoe shopping this back-to-school season. As you head to the store, consider these tips and insights from the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).

• Find the right fit: “Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for rapid growth when buying shoes,” says Dr. Michael Coyer, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon and Fellow Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Dr. Coyer cautions against the temptation to buy oversized shoes though, as they can cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. “A good fit is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe,” he says.

On the other hand, don’t wait too long to replace tight shoes. Tight shoes can cause blisters, corns and calluses on toes, blisters on the back of the heels and ingrown nails, which can become infected. If you notice signs of infection such as pain, redness or fluid draining from the area, schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle surgeon, who can perform a simple, safe in-office procedure to remove the affected area of the nail.

• Replace worn-out shoes: Because shoes lose shock absorption over time, wearing worn-out shoes can elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis and even ankle sprains and stress fractures.

“Inspect old shoes and replace any that lack sufficient cushioning and arch support, or have excessive wear to the bottom or around the edges of the sole,” says Dr. Coyer. “When shopping, don’t assume a new pair will offer proper support. Check to see that the toe box is wide enough and the shoe doesn’t bend in the middle of the sole.”


• Protect young athletes: “Every new season, we see an increase in ankle injuries among young athletes,” says Dr. Coyer.

Help prevent sports-related injuries by equipping your child with proper footwear this fall. Start each sports season with new shoes and always buy the right shoe for the sport. You can also protect young athletes by never allowing them to play through foot pain. Foot pain isn’t normal and if it lasts for more than a few days and interferes with normal activities, seek medical attention.

• Consider other factors: Children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toe box, maximum arch support and shock absorption. The best shoes for flat feet are stiff-soled, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary.

“A common persisting myth is that children will ‘grow out of’ foot problems. But foot problems developed in childhood can become more serious if left unaddressed,” says Dr. Coyer. “One of the most important steps you can take to prevent pediatric foot issues is by taking time during the back-to-school season to buy footwear that fits well and offers good support. Further, having your child evaluated by a foot and ankle surgeon member of ACFAS at the first sign of trouble can help reduce the likelihood of worsening problems and help keep your child active.”

For more back-to-school tips, information on foot and ankle health, and to find a foot and ankle surgeon near you, visit FootHealthFacts.org, the patient education website for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

(StatePoint) 


Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »