Back-to-School: Don’t Forget Your Child’s Feet!


If you have children, your back-to-school planning has probably already begun.

One thing that can tend to be forgotten during all the preparation is your child’s feet. But the beginning of the school year is prime time for infections, sports injuries, and other foot problems. So today, Dr. William Buffone of North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry is sharing his top tips for keeping your child’s feet in tip-top shape for school.

1. Make sure their shoes fit properly. Tight, ill-fitting shoes can cause several painful problems for children such as ingrown nails, heel pain, pressure sores, blisters, etc. When fitting your child’s shoes, make sure they have at least ½” of wiggle room between their longest toe and the front of the shoe.

2. Make sure their shoes are appropriate for the activity. Now that fall sports will be beginning, children who train and play in a specific sport should have footwear that is specifically designed for that activity. The risks to a child’s feet from different activities vary, so it isn’t a good idea for them to use the same basic footwear for everything they do.

4. Establish proper hygiene habits. Make sure your child knows to clean their feet properly each day when they bathe, and dry completely afterward especially between the toes. Also, teach your children to cut their nails straight across and keep them even in length with the tip of the toe to reduce the risk of a painful ingrown toenail.

5. More shoe-related advice. The right footwear is very important to your child’s foot health; some other helpful tips include the following.

  • Don’t let your child walk barefoot on pool decks, pavement, or other dangerous surfaces to reduce the risk of them getting splinters, stubs, cuts, and even fungal infections or warts.

  • Replace shoes that are worn out as they aren’t able to do the important work of supporting and cushioning.

  • Although it can be tempting to try to save money by passing shoes from older children to their younger sibling, sharing shoes is not a good idea.

  • Having two or more pairs of shoes that they can rotate allows sufficient drying time between uses, which helps cut down on odor, sweat and the risk of a fungal infection.

If your child is struggling with any kind of foot problem, contact the office of Dr. William Buffone of North Fork Podiatry/Three Village Podiatry today to schedule a consultation. You can reach Three Village Podiatry at (631) 474-3338, North Fork Podiatry (Southold) at (631) 765-6777 or North Fork Podiatry (Riverhead) at (631) 419-7107 or schedule your appointment online.