A bunion occurs when the joint connecting the base of your big toe to the rest of the foot pushes out and makes itself appear more prominent. Although it seems as if your toe bone expanded, this is not the case. Instead, it is a result of the hallux bone spreading out.
Statistically speaking, 33 percent of the American population have bunions. It is mainly observed among female adults. This can be attributed to the wearing of shoes that have narrower tips, which hugely contrast the feet’s anthropomorphic characteristics.
Scientific studies suggest its mainly hereditary origins. This explains why people as early as infancy have them. The condition is said to be more common among those who have flatfeet who tend to have looser feet ligaments. When detected earlier, therefore, when the baby’s skeletal structure has yet to mature, bunions can be kept from worsening.
If you have bunions, chances are your kids will develop them at some point in their lives. We can never determine how worse it is for your inheritors, even if yours never took the worse and painful turn. To help you care for your kid’s feet, here are essential pieces of information and tips we can impart to you:
The Early Signs
You can keep your child’s bunions from worsening with the shoes they wear and splints, but not entirely. Standing and walking are vital activities they can only do independently, and there will be times they have to stand and walk for a long duration. These trigger pain in their feet and, most likely, in their bunions.
Moreover, you cannot shield them always from injuries. Playing or engaging in labor-intensive activities, no matter what footwear they use, can advance the development of their bunions and will first manifest themselves as callouses around the base of the big toe. Later, the big toe could stiffen and be hard to move.
Shield Them From the Pain
Remember that either your child took after your bunions or not. If ever they do inherit this trait of yours, the goal is to keep them from feeling any pain.
It is an excellent practice to have your child wear the most comfortable footwear with adequate room for the toes. Be wary when you have to upsize their shoes, knowing their bunions could show up any time. Also, be particular about the material used for the shoe’s inner lining from the quarter to the vamp and the toe cap.
Unless open-toe shoes or sandals are a practical option for your child, opt for sneakers or slip-on ones that are lined with soft fabric like cotton and shrinking-resistant polyester. The quality of leather shoes, on the other hand, can only be proven over time when it stretches to the wearer’s foot size. And so, you can skip giving this to your child until later in life when his feet will no longer grow.
Aside from preventing them from feeling any pain, another goal is to keep their big toe from bending towards the second. In turn, this prevents more chronic complications that worsen with age, including rheumatoid arthritis that can get so bad they will not be able to walk, let alone wear shoes. Aside from splints they can wear every night, here are other remedies that could help:
Bunion pads are a corrective tool that is readily accessible in local pharmacies. They could come as a compressive brace that is worn around the foot and have a mechanism that pushes the bunion bump inward. Some are molded to be inserted in between the big and second toe. They are also either made with silicone or a fabric wrap with gel pads.
Orthotics are medically prescribed tools you insert into your shoes before you wear them. They are custom-made to match your foot shape while shielding your feet from the pressure from your shoe’s inner lining.
When to Undergo Surgery
Because a child’s feet only fully develop by age 12, only then can their doctor or podiatry specialist recommend corrective surgery. This is to allow the first metatarsal bone to grow into its full length and width. Pushing for an earlier surgery will only cause additional complications to the foot.
If you have them, bunions are something you have to live with for life. Your child does not have to suffer painful ones, though. Know the preventive measures you can take and, just like you, they could live comfortably even with such a deformity in their feet.