6 Tips to Keep Your Kids’ Feet Safe This Summer
Summer is a time for fun but can also be a time for foot problems. When the weather heats up, taking extra care of your kids' feet and ankles are important to prevent injuries and maintain overall foot health. As a parent, you play a crucial role in keeping your child's feet safe this summer. In this article, we'll provide some helpful tips to ensure your child's feet stay healthy and safe during summer.
Tips to Keep Your Kid's Feet Safe
Tip 1: Choose the Right Footwear
One of the most important things you can do to protect your child's feet is to choose the right footwear. In the summer, choosing sandals or shoes that are lightweight, breathable, and provide enough support is important. Look for sandals with straps that hold the foot securely in place to prevent slips, trips, and falls. Avoid flip-flops as they provide little support and can cause your child to develop foot problems such as plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
When shopping for summer footwear, choose the right size and fit. It's important that your child's toes have enough room to wiggle and that the shoes or sandals aren't too tight. Too-tight footwear can cause blisters, calluses, and even ingrown toenails.
Tip 2: Protect Feet from the Sun
Like the rest of the body, the feet and ankles need protection from the sun's harmful rays. Look for sandals and shoes that provide sun protection, or apply sunscreen to your child's feet and ankles before heading outdoors. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours or more frequently if your child is sweating or swimming.
In addition to applying sunscreen, consider investing in protective socks for your child. These socks provide additional sun protection and help prevent blisters and other foot problems caused by friction.
Tip 3: Keep Feet Clean and Dry
In summer, feet are exposed to more moisture than usual, leading to fungal infections and smelly feet. To prevent foot problems caused by excess moisture, ensure your child's feet are always clean and dry. Encourage them to wash their feet daily with soap and water and to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
Use foot powder to help absorb excess moisture, and choose breathable footwear to allow air to circulate the feet. If your child's feet become sweaty, encourage them to change their socks and shoes as soon as possible.
Tip 4: Be Cautious Around Water
Summer is a time for water activities, but it's important to be cautious around water to prevent slips, trips, and falls. When near a pool, lake, or ocean, ensure your child wears appropriate footwear, such as water shoes or sandals with good traction. Avoid going barefoot, which can increase the risk of injuries and infections.
In addition to wearing appropriate footwear, ensure your child can safely walk on wet surfaces. Please encourage them to take small steps and avoid running or jumping around the water.
Tip 5: Avoid Walking Barefoot
Walking barefoot is a common summer activity, but avoiding this is important to prevent injuries and foot problems. When your child is outside, ensure they wear appropriate footwear to protect their feet from cuts, scrapes, and insect bites. Walking barefoot can also increase the risk of plantar warts, which are small growths that develop on the bottom of the feet.
Tip 6: Check for Injuries
Finally, it's important to check your child's feet regularly for any signs of injuries or problems. Summer activities can put extra strain on the feet, leading to injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures. If your child complains of foot pain or you notice any swelling, redness, or other signs of a foot injury, seek medical attention immediately.
Common foot injuries in kids include heel pain (Sever's disease), ankle sprains, and stress fractures. Sever's disease is a condition that causes pain in the heel area and is more common in kids who participate in sports that involve a lot of running and jumping. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle are stretched or torn and can be caused by a sudden twisting motion. Stress fractures are small cracks in the bones of the feet and are more common in kids who participate in sports that involve repetitive impact, such as running or jumping.
If your child does sustain a foot injury, following your podiatrist's recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation is important. Treatment may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation, as well as the use of supportive footwear or orthotics.
Taking care of your child's feet and ankles during the summer is crucial for maintaining their overall foot health and preventing injuries. Following these tips can help keep your child's feet safe and healthy this summer. Remember to choose the right footwear, protect their feet from the sun, keep them clean and dry, be cautious around water, avoid walking barefoot, and check for injuries regularly. If you have concerns about your child's foot health, consult a podiatrist for professional advice.