Ingrown toenails can be quite painful, and the condition doesn’t just develop in adults. Kids and teens can also develop ingrown toenails, so it’s important that parents and guardians are aware of some of the risk factors and ways to prevent the condition. So in today’s blog, we shine a spotlight on a few ways that you can help your child prevent against ingrown toenails.
Kids and Ingrown Toenails
Here’s a look at a number of different ways to prevent and treat ingrown toenails in children.
1. Monitor Their Shoe Size – Ill-fitting shoes are the biggest contributor to ingrown toenail formation, so it’s important that parents regularly monitor their child’s shoe size to ensure their feet aren’t crammed in their shoe. Most adults get to a point where their foot stops growing and they can reliably buy the same size shoes, but a child’s foot will grow at a different pace. They could go up one size in a year or a size and a half in a matter of months, so always provide regular checks and ask them how their shoes fit. Don’t assume hand-me-downs or older pairs will suffice, because all feet grow at different rates. Don’t let a tight-fitting shoe lead to ingrown toenail formation.
2. Cleat Care – If your kid is quite busy with athletics, you also need to monitor their shoe size when it comes to cleats or athletic footwear. Many times these shoes are designed to be tight to help with performance, but this can also put them at a higher risk for ingrown toenails. Make sure their athletic shoes are professionally fitted, and keep tabs on how their feet fit in these shoes as the season progresses. Don’t wait until their shoes are significantly worn down to swap them out if their feet are outgrowing the shoe.
3. Toenail Trimming – Depending on your child’s age, you still may be cutting their toenails, but at some point they are going to start doing this on their own. Make sure you teach them how to cut their nails correctly. Don’t round off the corners or cut them down too low, because this can lead to ingrown toenail formation. Help develop a healthy toenail cutting routine that doesn’t put them at an elevated risk for ingrown toenails.
4. Correct Small Problems – Finally, if your child starts complaining of an ingrown toenail, try some of these conservative care treatments to help get the toenail back in the right location. If those don’t work or the problem returns, set up a consultation with a foot specialist. We can help remove a portion of the toenail so that it doesn’t cause problems for the foot. Not only is partial toenail removal effective, but it can also help prevent the condition from coming back in the future. Our team can also talk about footwear and other conservative options to help ensure the nail regrows as it should after the procedure.