Tots to Toddlers
You will notice babies’ feet grow as quickly as they do, and they are so eager to go explore their new environment. When they are moving around ensure the babies feet are covered with socks. However, ensure the socks are not too tight around the ankles and toes, the socks need to have plenty of wiggle room.
Ensure babies feet are bathed regularly and dried between the toes thoroughly.
Allow babies to move around with socks on in safe environments, with no objects on the floor that could cause trauma to the foot. We all have a vast amount of nerve endings in our feet that allow us to balance and learn new skills that the tiny tots will be learning such as walking. When the tiny tots are growing into toddlers and require shoes ensure the person fitting them is fully trained. There shoes need sufficient growth room at the end of the toes and ensure they will not slide off when on their adventures.
If you are ever unsure about your child’s feet do not hesitate to visit a podiatrist. There is never a silly question!
Toddlers to Juniors
Your child feet will start to develop over time. You will notice that toddlers’ feet are more flexible than your own. This is nothing to worry about, in fact this is “normal”, flat feet are a common concern for the majority of parents. Most children’s feet are flexile but flat. Usually flat and flexible feet do not cause any problem as the arch will develop over time. No treatment would be required unless symptoms such as
- Pain, tenderness or cramping in the feet or legs
- Withdrawal from participating activities
- Changes in walking/ difficulty when walking
- Outwards tilting of the heels
Some children’s feet are flat and rigid, this may be caused by a bone in the foot. The bones may be joined together or aligned slightly different to what they should be, resulting in a restriction of movement. An X-ray may be required to diagnose a specific problem.
If you would like to assess your own children’s feet there are a few simples steps you can do yourself to assess the arch profile. If your child can stand on their tip toes ask them to do so and then look to see if a larger arch is made than what they would normally have when standing flat. This would be considered flat and flexible and if no arch is created then it may be flat and rigid. If your child cannot stand on their tip toes then gently lift up their big toe when they are stood fully weigh bearing and if an arch is created the foot is probably flat and flexible, if no arch then it may be flat and rigid.
A podiatrist can fit an orthotic to help support, stabilise and reduce pain in the foot, this may benefit a child with flat and rigid feet. An insole will not change the child’s foot long term.
Don’t forget that children’s feet will not fully develop fully until they are around 3 to 4 years old.