Children’s Feet and Legs

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Children’s feet change as they grow.  There are some common conditions that affect children and should be seen by a professional to make sure they don’t become too much of an issue and make walking and activity painful. On this page, we discuss:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Warts
  • Flat feet
  • Orthotics

Ingrown toenails

An ingrown nail occurs when a small point of the nail edge breaks the skin down the side of the toenail. Sometimes an infection and swelling develops. Ingrown toenails are common in older children and can be the result of cutting the toenail wrong, shoe pressure or injury to the nail.

To properly treat an ingrown nail , the small point needs to be removed. In most cases this can be done quickly, with minimal discomfort in a normal consultation. Those which are more complicated may need a local anaesthetic or part of then nail removed.  For recurrent ingrown nails, surgical removal of the sides of the nail may be the best option.

Our podiatrists will advise you on the best way to manage your ingrown toenails , and how to break the cycle.


Warts and Verrucae are the same condition caused by the infection of a papilloma virus in the skin. Warts are spread by contact. Warts on the sole or plantar surface of the foot are know as plantar warts.

Plantar warts can be quite painful  when compared to other warts, because when weight bearing, the wart is forced to grow up and into the skin instead of growing outwards.

Our podiatrists will determine the best way to treat the wart based on the size, the number, the location and the age of the child.  Our advice is to seek treatment as soon as you notice the wart, as they can grow quickly and spread.


Flat Feet

Babies and Toddlers naturally appear flat-footed and usually this will disappear as the child begins to develop past the age of 4 years. Children with persisting flat feet or low arches may experience symptoms or an unusual gait.


Flatfoot can result from the collapse of the foot’s arch on standing (flexible) or by the fusion of bones (fixed).  Flat foot may cause  painful symptoms but not always.  If a child’s feet are flat it is worth having them assessed by our Podiatrists to see if there is any cause for concern. Sometimes orthotics  maybe useful to improve foot movement and relieve any painful symptoms.


It is important to discuss your child’s mobility and foot problems with a podiatrist who can advise which service or device is most appropriate . The podiatrist, after assessing the child’s foot function may recommend orthotics or insoles .

Orthotic devices

Orthotic devices can be used to maintain foot alignment and give support.  Orthotics help to realign the foot and distribute body weight evenly. They can be used for all for a variety of problems including pain, instability and gross motor problems. 

To learn more about children’s feet and legs read our blog articles

School Shoes part 1

School Shoes part 2

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