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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: pediatric foot care

By Clark Podiatry Center
May 09, 2018
Tags: Bunions   Shoes  

Toddlers’ feet grow so quickly! Have you noticed that toddlers seem to need bigger shoes only a few days after they’ve stepped into the ones you just got them? It’s tempting to get shoes that are 2 sizes bigger so that you don’t have to keep buying new ones!

However, we advise you not to give into that temptation. Instead, first figure out the signs that your toddler needs new shoes. Then, find out how to find the best shoes for your growing toddler. Not all toddlers can express their foot pain, so it’s important to look for signs and symptoms.

Do they need new shoes? Or are they just trying to change up their fashion?

  • Is it hard for you to get their shoes on? Be sure to put socks on their feet before putting shoes on to prevent skin irritation and to make it smoother to put shoes on. However, if it seems difficult to get shoes on, it could be a sign that their feet are getting too big for their shoes.
  • Do they have marks on the feet? When you take shoes off, do they have red marks on the skin that might indicate irritation from the shoes being too tight? If the toes look tightly curled up or are red from being too tight in the front of the shoes, that’s another sign.
  • Compare the bottom of the shoes with the bottom of their feet. The outline of the shoes should be larger than the outline of your toddlers’ feet. If they seem to look the same, the shoes are too small.
  • Do they have signs of bunions? Check to see if their feet look like the big toe is growing towards the smaller toes, instead of straight on. If it looks like the big toe joint is sticking out, they may be developing bunions. Give more room to the toes by buying a larger size.

How to best purchase toddler shoes:

  • Measure children’s feet every time you shop. Buying shoes later in the day is best because that’s when they are largest. Also, the left and right feet can differ in size. Buy shoes that fit the larger foot.
  • Try shoes on rather than buying by size. Different shoe companies may label their sizes differently. Not all shoe sizes will match based on age since toddlers grow at different rates.
  • Shoes should have a little bit of extra room. You can either leave a half an inch between the front of the shoes and the big toe or fit your index finger in the back of the shoe when your toddler is wearing it.

Does it seem like your child is complaining of foot pain? Are his or her feet looking deformed? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy for an assessment. Make an appointment today at the New Jersey Children's Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center. Your children will get top quality foot care at our Clark, NJ office, which serves the surrounding Union County areas. We keep you walking!

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
November 01, 2017

It’s about time for children and teenagers to be signing up for winter sports at their schools. They can choose from a variety of sports that are slotted during this time, such as winter soccer, basketball, wrestling, swimming, volleyball, ice hockey, and ice-skating. No, not all of them must take place in the winter, but many are indoor activities, so it’s an opportune time to engage in activities that do not require open air.

With each sport come different challenges to safety. Regarding foot and ankle safety in particular, we have some tips for children who sign up for each of these sports:

  • Winter soccer: For some, this means indoor soccer, but for other schools, it may mean playing soccer outside in the cold. With either sport, students should wear the appropriate socks and shoes (indoors: no cleats, outside: cleats) to have support and grip, wherever they are playing.
  • Basketball: As with soccer, shoes that are appropriate for the sport are important to lower risk of injury. Ankle injuries are common in sports involving running and lateral movements, so a proper fit, good ankle support, and non-skid outer rubber soles are essential for safety. Of note: Contrary to popular belief, high tops are not necessarily safer for preventing ankle injuries.
  • Wrestling: Most wrestling shoes are lightweight and flexible, but get ones that feel supportive to your ankles. Additionally, they should give you some tread or “stickiness” on the mats. Tie them securely and tuck in the laces so no one trips on them.
  • Swimming: Most swimmers do not wear footwear while swimming because it will likely cause drag. However, as soon as you step out of the pool and onto floors where people might be barefoot, we advise that you wear water shoes or non-skid flip flops. This will help prevent and reduce the spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which love moist environments.
  • Volleyball: Purchase shoes that have gummy rubber soles for better traction and extra padding to absorb impact from running and jumping. This will prevent injuries and reduce risks of overuse injuries from impact.
  • Ice Hockey/Skating: The best protection for your feet is definitely in the size of your skates, as well as how well you maintain your blades (dull blades may cause you to trip up on ruts in the ice). Try on many different pairs to find the one that feels right. They will become a bit worn in after several uses, but can be tightened with laces. If they are too tight, they will cause a lot of pain. Also, remember to have a hard toe cup to protect from collision injuries.

Key tips for all sports, regardless of when they are played:

  • Whenever permitted and possible, please use all safety equipment available to you. For example: you may not think that you need to wear knee pads during basketball or wrestling, but in the case where you collide with other knees or fall, they will be protected. 
By Clark Podiatry Center
October 18, 2017
Tags: bowed legs   knock knees  

As we wrap up Bone and Joint Action Week, let’s focus on World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day, also known as PB&J Day. Tomorrow, October 19th, is a day to raise awareness for musculoskeletal issues in children and youth. Many bone and joint issues begin from childhood and continue through adulthood. In fact, 10% of people affected by a disabling musculoskeletal condition are children.

This year’s theme is “Kids, Bones, Joints & Obesity - Tips for Parents and Patients, and Primary Care Providers”. Children who are obese are a much higher risk of developing musculoskeletal problems, so it’s very important to look out for signs and symptoms to catch and treat them early.

Musculoskeletal Issues will most strongly affect the following parts of the body in obese children:

  • Back: Obese children are more likely to have back pain.
  • Hips: The hip growth plate can be affected or injured by excessive weight in developing children, causing pain in the groin area or outer hip joint.
  • Legs: Obese can make bowed legs or knock knees worse. X-rays can help determine the extent of the problem.

Prevention and early treatment will help reduce the chance of musculoskeletal issues affecting them when they are adults. The following are tips for health bones and joints for your children:

  • Have them eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet, including plenty of sources of calcium, vitamin D, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Dairy, dark leafy greens, fatty fish, and plenty of sunshine are examples of food sources.
  • Make sure they engage in regular exercise to prevent or reduce overweight and obesity issues. Aerobic exercises, as well as some weight-bearing exercises are important to keeping bones healthy and strong.
  • Small injuries can become much worse if it is not treated promptly for developing children who are overweight.

For foot and ankle injuries, consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. We are here to treat your family’s needs at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center. Make an appointment to see us today at our Clark, NJ office.

 

By Clark Podiatry Center
September 20, 2017
Tags: intoeing   bowlegged  

Every milestone that your baby achieves can feel like a miracle. However, with information overload from books, the Internet, and other parents, each new step can also feel daunting. What are the right things for parents to be doing to help promote their growth and development? Should babies be protected from harm or should they learn by trial and error?

In the case of babies that are transitioning from being immobile, to sitting, crawling (or maybe they’ll skip this), standing, and eventually, walking, there are many opinions about how babies should be handled. The following are some do’s and don’ts from a podiatric standpoint:

Do:

  • Allow them to go at their own pace. Each child is going to have his/her own pace of development. Forcing a child to try to sit or stand before (s)he is ready can be dangerous because of lack of muscle development. Babies will learn to keep their head up, roll from back to front, etc. as their muscles allow them to. The baby steps of muscle development can help them move to the next positions.
  • See what your baby can do, but only with your support and supervision. Does your baby like to “stand” while you support under the armpits? Contrary to some myths, this will not necessarily cause your baby to have bowlegs. If they cannot stand “standing”, their legs will give way and they will stop standing (which is why you should always be supporting and supervising).
  • Allow your baby to learn to walk on their bare feet at home. It helps with developing balance and coordination, which rigid shoes can prevent. Also, their exposed toes can also help them grip the floor.
  • Pay attention to the way that they walk or stand. If you notice that they are bowlegged, intoeing, or walking on their tiptoes, check to see if things get worse or not. Many children may start out walking this way, but can outgrow them as their legs and feet continue to develop.

Don’t:

  • Don’t let children walk around barefoot outside or in the cold. As long as they are flexible and can grip slippery surfaces, shoes are better than going barefoot in public places since they can pick up diseases or accidentally cut their feet when not at home.
  • Don’t use a walking assistant or a walker device to teach babies how to walk. These devices can support and encourage walking while they strengthen lower leg muscles, but they do not strengthen upper leg muscles or hip muscles. In essence they are not supporting their own weight, so they do not learn to properly walk on their own.

If you have further questions about your baby’s development with regards to their feet and standing or walking, it’s best to consult our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. If you are concerned that your toddler has walking issues and has not grown out of them by the age of 3, they may need some additional support and treatment. We are here for you at Clark Podiatry Center and The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute. Make an appointment to see us today at our Clark, NJ office.

Children and adults alike are at a higher risk of injuring their feet or ankles if they do not take preventative measures. Especially when taking part in intense activity like sports, dancing, or playing on the playground, children with weak feet or ankles can incur an injury. 

Even if your children won’t necessarily take part in these types of activities, it’s better safe than sorry, especially because you never know when they may trip or fall from uneven grounds. Because they are still growing and their bones and tissues are still developing, an injury can cause issues with proper development. Injuries to the growth plate can result in complex procedures to fix the problem. 

The following are some flexibility exercises that you and your children can do to lower risk of injury:

  • First and foremost, conditioning is important to ensure that your children are able to safely participate. Cardio and strength training are helpful in activities where they are required to use strength and/or run. 
  • Many Achilles issues can cause ankle issues. The best way to strengthen and stretch the tendon is to do calf stretches. Put your foot up against a stable object (like a wall or couch) with the heel on the ground. Then lean forward to feel the stretch. Do a few reps to get a good stretch.
  • Make circles with your feet at the ankle to increase flexibility in all directions of the ankles. This can be done as a game or while watching TV. 
  • To protect toes, do some exercises with them. Straighten and curl the toes. You can add some challenge to the exercise by picking up and moving a marble or towel from one side to the other. 
  • Some other stretching exercises like yoga and ballet can help children learn proper ways to become more flexible and light on their feet. 

Don’t forget to use proper foot and ankle wear and protective gear. Wearing shoes that are appropriate for activities can help prevent injury. For example, cleats are important to prevent slipping in grass or turf, while hiking shoes help stabilize and protect on uneven hiking trail terrain. Furthermore, your child should stretch and warm up before sports and other vigorous activity. 

Did your child experience an injury while playing sports? Need more information about increasing flexibility? Come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Make an appointment today to have their feet assessed and treated with care. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all of Union County! We keep you walking! 

 


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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470