Kids, Know Your Feet!

Your wonderful feet

Hey kids, have you ever taken a look at your feet? Have you taken a really good look at them? Do you see them down there right at the end of your legs?

You can walk, skip, run around, ride bikes and do a number of other things that would have been seemingly impossible without the help of your beloved feet. Most of the time, you may not even notice and thank them for being there. Your feet do so much for you, so should you not return the favor by taking good care of them!

Let us take a good look at your feet now.

  • There are 26 bones on each of your feet
  • There are only two bones on your big toe. For each of your other toes, there are three. These bones are referred to as phalanges (pronounced fal-an-jeez)
  • The middle part of your feet comprises five bones known as metatarsals (say met-a-tar-sals)

Two of the biggest bones in your feet are also the strongest as they are required to carry and support the greater part of your body weight. Talus and heel bone are just two of the seven tarsal bones spreading out from the ankle to the middle of your feet. The former is the bone just below your shin and above your heel, while the latter is known as calcaneous (cal-ca-ne-ous).

Keep your feet sweet

  • Your feet serve you so well throughout the day. As a result it is important that you keep them clean and look after them well.
  • Wash your feet well and dry between the toes so that they do not end up getting soggy and smelly.
  • If you are planning to wear your shoes the next morning, have them aired at night.
  • When walking around the house, don’t wear shoes. This will give your feet some much needed opportunity to spread out.
  • Have your sneakers washed often. Clean your boots and shoes to keep them smelling nice and feeling soft.
  • Get your mum, dad, or whoever takes care of you to teach you about cutting your toenails so that they don’t end up growing too long.
  • Check if there are any blisters, cuts, itchy bits or bumps on your feet and then have them treated.

If you are headed towards puberty, then it becomes all the more important for you to keep your feet looking and feeling sweet. This is the time when the sweat glands, especially the ones in your feet, roar into complete production. You may not make for pleasant company if you don’t work hard at keeping your feet clean.

Check out your feet

  • Unless you become an elite athlete at a very tender age, it is unlikely that you will have callusses or corns on your feet. If you find them appearing, inform your adults and get them treated.
  • Verruccas or Platar Warts are something to be careful about and avoid at all costs. They can easily be avoided by wearing flip-flops or thongs when in the changing room or walking around public pools.
  • If you keep your feet dry and clean, you can avoid tinea or Athlete’s foot. Have the bathroom floors and showers cleaned nicely the next time you are tasked with that chore!
  • When outdoors, wear thongs or shoes to protect your feet from objects that could otherwise damage them, such as prickles, glass, or sharp twigs.
  • If you are the playground, parkland, or beach, be careful of syringes. Stepping on one is the last thing that you would want to do. Tell your elders if you happen to come across one.

Prevent toenails from growing in

An ingrowing toenail is when the toenail grows into the skin at the side of the nail. It can be a very painful experience, get infected and take ages before it gets better. The unfortunate news in this regard is that ingrowing toenails and infections tend to repeat themselves time and time again.

  • Keep you feet clean and dry
  • Whenever possible, wear thongs and sandals
  • Wear socks inside your sneakers everytime so that your feet stay dry
  • Air out your sneakers so that they can get dry. This is especially important after you sweat in them throughout the day.
  • Always have your sports shoes dry and clean.
  • Cut your toenails regularly. Rather than cut the corners of your toenail backwards, cut them across.

If you have nails that are soft and can break easily, ingrowing toenails are more likely to happen. Keeping your feet cool, clean and dry will typically make your nails healthy and strong.

If you have toenails that look swollen or feel sore then chances are you have had an infection. Ask your parents to take you over to see a doctor. You may be required to have antibiotics or make use of an anti-fungal cream in order to get rid of the infection.

Feet are such an important part of your body that looking after them is seemingly worthwhile. It is important to wear good, well fitting shoes, and if you are getting pain in your legs, ankles, or feet, then it would be the write time to go and see a doctor. Some people have issues with painful heels or get their ankles turned in. A foot specialist, better known as a podiatrist, may suggest in such a situation that you have been diagnosed with orthotics (pronounce: or-thot-ics). These are specially made supports that fit in nicely into your shoes and help to make your ankle and feet grow straight and strong. You can also ask your parents to get specially designed orthotic footwear for you so that you can better manage the physical problems arising out of an imperfect choice of footwear.