Summertime comes with long-awaited fun for kids of all ages, from sporting events to playgrounds, pools, and beaches. While going barefoot and wearing flip flops is safe in some situations, it’s important to wear appropriate footwear for different activities.
The experienced podiatrists of Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists in Grapevine and Keller, Texas, want to help you and your family stay healthy while you enjoy summer in Texas, or wherever you travel for sunshine and fun. Here are five tips to keep your kids’ feet safe this summer.
Stay Safe on the Playground
Keep little feet safe on the playground by making sure kids wear supportive, protective footwear. Flip flops and sandals may be good choices for the beach or pool, but they’re not the best option for the playground.
Tennis shoes are a better footwear selection for kids who are running, sliding, and swinging. Not only do laced-up tennis shoes keep feet and ankles more supported than flip flops or sandals, but they won’t fall off or cause your child to trip over them while running.
Another way to protect kids’ feet is to visit playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces, like recycled rubber for extra cushioning. Avoid playgrounds with cement or pavement underfoot, which can lead to foot and ankle injuries.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
As a parent, you know all about applying sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying out of the sun during the hottest times of the day. But, it’s easy to forget feet when you’re applying SPF lotion or spray.
The skin on kids’ feet can burn just as easily as the rest of their bodies, especially during a day at the pool or the beach. Reapply sunscreen often, and remember feet and ankles, too.
Barefoot at the Beach, Flip Flops at the Pool
Walking barefoot on the sand at the beach has many health benefits for kids and adults. Walking helps promote balance, coordination, and stamina, and walking barefoot on the sand provides extra resistance that strengthens and stretches leg muscles with every step. Sand is also a natural exfoliant for dry skin. Be careful not to step on shells or rocks that can cause puncture wounds.
On the other hand (or, the other foot), it’s best to wear flip flops at the pool and public beach house bathrooms and showers to protect against athlete’s foot fungus and other germs.
Flip flops can protect against plantar warts that come from direct contact with wet pool decks or locker room showers. Flip flops can also help prevent puncture wounds from sharp stones or glass in gravel parking lots or in the grass on the way back from the beach or pool.
Choose Non-Skid Shoes for Waterparks
Waterparks can be fun for kids of all ages, but also places to slip and easily twist an ankle. Protect little feet and prevent falls with non-skid water shoes. Rubber soles are great for slippery, wet surfaces, and quick-drying material provides ventilation. Water shoes also offer support for kids’ feet, with extra cushioning and protective materials for little toes.
Wear Supportive Shoes to Play Sports
Baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, and other summertime sports are more fun for kids when they have proper, supportive footwear. Investing in a good shoe that’s appropriate for each particular sport can prevent foot and ankle injuries, and support growing leg muscles.
Shoes that are made for a particular sport, like soccer cleats, also provide traction on grass, turf, or sandy surfaces, so your child is less likely to slip and fall.
Summertime, or anytime of year, the team at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists is here to help you and your whole family keep your feet safe and healthy. If you have concerns or questions, give us a call or schedule an appointment online at our Grapevine or Keller, Texas, offices.