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Put your best foot forward!

Now that Fall is in full swing, parents and their children are busy with school and a multitude of extracurricular activities. I am coaching soccer for my son Ethan’s U7 league. They are so cute and hilarious when playing and learning new skills. I am really enjoying this great season.

Along with soccer comes other sports and a variety of activities for our children including dance, lacrosse, football, cross country running, etc. These activities may lead to the occasional, “Mom, Dad, my toe hurts.” Children can be prone to “picking” or “peeling” at their toenails. The new shoe gear, combined with the new increased activity on their feet, mixed with the habit of “picking” at their toenails is a recipe for skin infections and ingrown toenails.

Fortunately, minor infections and ingrown toenails can easily be treated with oral antibiotics and a minor procedure to remove the ingrown toenail. Children often think they will have to lose their entire toenail, but that is only in specific cases. The majority of the time we can remove the offending area and keep the remaining nail intact. Patients have immediate relief once the nail area is removed. The minor wound care at home following the procedure involves foot soaks and application of wound ointment and a band-aid or bandage.

Inform your children to not pick at their toenails and always remember to cut the nails straight across to prevent ingrowing toenails. Also, make sure that their shoe gear for whatever activity they are doing fits their feet and toes properly and does not cause too much pressure to their nails.

Now go forth parents – cut those oranges for half time, pack that extra team jersey, fill up the water bottle, and remember it’s all about FUN!

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