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Richardson Podiatry Center

Keeping Your Children’s Feet Safe for Summer

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Summer tends to come with at least a little anticipation—and likely even more if you’re a kid! With school out, that leaves plenty of time for vacation, time outside, and… well, let’s be honest, likely a lot of video games, too.

Whatever your summer plans involve for your family, it pays to take some easy steps to keep your children’s feet protected during the summer. An injury, burn, or fungal infection is sure to be a damper on summertime fun, but all of these problems can be easy to avoid.

So, when the sun and fun are both out, keep these children’s foot care tips in mind. Many of them won’t hurt for adults to follow, either!

Use Flip-Flops VERY Sparingly

Flip-flops are a summer staple for many, but they should only be reserved for short periods of use where no running is involved.

Spending all day in flip-flops can be harrowing for the feet due to the large lack of support most models have. Not only is the arch left hanging out to dry, but the toes can also tend to involuntarily grip against the top of the flip-flop in an effort to keep it from sliding. All of this stress can lead to aches.

Then there is the simple fact that flip-flops don’t tend to stay on your feet all the time. They can easily slide off, especially when running—and you know that is something kids often love to do. Children who run in flip-flops not only risk tripping over their own footwear, but having it slide off completely in mid-stride. What will be waiting for their bare feet when they step down? Grass? Rocks? Hot pavement? You don’t want to play roulette with that.

Flip-flops are decent footwear for being poolside and making short little trips outside, but a good pair of sandals will suit your children better for daily movement. Just make sure that the sandals you buy have good arch support and straps made of generally soft yet firm material, such as leather (or similar). Have your child try them on and walk around a bit to make sure the straps don’t rub against the foot, which could lead to blisters.

Protect Exposed Feet from the Sun

Faces, necks, backs and such tend to get a lot of sunscreen attention, but the feet are often unintentionally ignored. Perhaps we just don’t think about them because they are covered in socks or shoes throughout the year. The truth, however, is that the skin on exposed feet is capable of sunburn just like any other part is!

When applying sunscreen, don’t forget the feet! Don’t slather lotion between the toes, however; pooling moisture there can help contribute to picking up fungal infections.

And as an added tip, many people apply their sunscreen much too late before heading into the sun! We’re referring to all of us who don’t start rubbing it on until we get out of the car in the parking lot.

For best effects, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before heading out into the sun. This gives the working ingredients more time to interact with the skin. Also, don’t forget to reapply as directed by the bottle if you’re spending a whole day basking.

Protect Exposed Feet from Fungus, Too

Pools become quite popular during the summer season. If you will be going to a public pool, however, there is an increased risk for picking up fungus as well. These are the types of fungus that can cause both itchy, miserable athlete’s foot and unsightly fungal toenails.

Why are public pools such a risk? Because fungus survives best in areas that are warm and damp. And with so much foot traffic about, there is plenty of opportunity for fungus to be introduced into the mix. The story goes the same with locker rooms and shower areas, by the way, including those you can find at campsites.

If your child will be spending time in these areas, get them a pair of water shoes or “aqua socks” that they can wear for protection around the pool and in public shower areas. Even a pair of flip-flops is better than nothing in these situations.

And if you are a parent, you should also be wearing shower shoes or aqua socks. This goes double if you have a fungal toenail infection, yourself! This will help keep it away from everyone else.

(But if you do have a fungal infection, we can also help you treat it now so you don’t have to worry so much about spreading it anymore.)

Take Care of Problems Now Before Things Really Start to Heat Up!

Protecting your children’s feet from summertime mishaps is one thing. If there is an already existing problem, however, taking care of it as soon as possible can lend even more toward having an enjoyable and trouble-free summer!

Our office in Richardson is here to help patients of all ages with problems ranging from plantar warts to heel pain. Give us a call at (972) 690-5374 and we will be happy to schedule an appointment with you and your child.

If you have questions or would prefer to contact us electronically instead, please feel free to reach us via our online contact form instead. A member of our staff will get back to you via email.
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