Athletics can cause a number of foot and ankle problems in both adults and children. However, child athletes are at a much higher risk for foot injury due to sports. In fact, due to the very nature of the sport, Seattle child soccer players are at more risk of ingrown toenails.

The Seattle podiatrists at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington, Dr. Larry Huppin and Dr. Doug Hale, are specialists in both sports related foot problems and children’s feet.

The most common causes of ingrown toenails in child soccer players are:

  • Poorly trimmed toenails
  • Soccer cleats are too tight
  • Repetitive kicking action required by playing soccer

Soccer players prefer tight cleats, believing the benefits of improved feel and performance outweighs the possible negative consequences to their feet. For younger children, who sometimes wear hand-me-downs from their older siblings, this can create even more problems with poorly fitted soccer cleats.

To help avoid ingrown toenails in child soccer players, parents should teach their children to trim their toenails properly, doing it for their budding soccer star if the child is too young. Next, parents must ensure that the child’s soccer shoes fit properly, keeping in mind that kid’s feet grow quickly and shoe size may change within a single season.

When teaching children how to cut toenails, keep these things in mind:

  • Follow the natural curve of the toe. Do NOT cut the nail straight across.
  • Take care not to cut the nail too closely. Avoid exposing the toenail bed, which is the area directly beneath the nail.
  • Always use the right tools for the job at hand – or toe!

Ingrown toenails respond poorly to home treatments. You should always visit your podiatrist if you suspect your child may be suffering from this condition.

Because ingrown toenails can be so painful – and can also lead to infection – we work hard to see patients with ingrown toenails the same day. If your young soccer player has an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with your Seattle podiatrist today at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington. Make sure to mention to our receptionist that you suspect an ingrown toenail is the problem and we will make every effort to see you the same day of your call.

Dr. Douglas S. Hale

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