19 Jun When Custom Orthotics are Best for Kids Feet
Does Your Child Need Custom Orthotics?
Foot problems in childhood can lead to a lifetime of chronic, painful conditions. Are you seeing signs that your child is having trouble learning to walk, run, hop or balance? Treatment with custom orthotics might be in order.
Don’t Do Anything Until Your Child is Six
Before you rush your child to the podiatrist, give him a chance to do some growing. Many children are born with foot problems like flat feet, toe walking, inability to balance and undeveloped ligaments. In most cases, these problems clear up by the time your child reaches the age of six.
Until then, it’s important to practice good foot health for your child. Let your children walk barefoot whenever possible. Studies have found that children who go barefoot develop strong, flexible arches. When you choose shoes, make sure they’re lightweight, flexible, and supportive.
If you’re noticing problems after age six, it’s time to discuss your concerns with a podiatrist who specializes in children’s foot health.
Are Those Arches Arching?
If your child’s arches don’t seem to develop properly, that could indicate flat feet. Check your child’s medial arches by pushing gently on the bottom of your child’s foot where the arch is. If this is painful, that could mean the plantar fascia is already loose and overstretched. Custom orthotics now will prevent the development of full-blown plantar fasciitis.
Check the Tendons
You can check the position of the Achilles tendon by watching your child’s heels as she walks. Is the heel tipping downward? If you don’t correct this, your child will become an over-pronator. This spells future knee, foot, and back troubles for your child. Custom orthotics can correct over-pronation before that happens.
Do the Paper Test
You can test your child or yourself for flat feet by doing the paper test. Here’s how it works.
You will need:
Water or colored liquid.
Piece of clean cardboard large enough to show a print of your foot.
- Wet your feet in the water. It’s easier if you use colored water.
- Step on the cardboard.
- Wait for the colored liquid to dry.
- Study the shape of your foot imprint. If it looks like the classic footstep with an inward curve, that’s a normal foot.
- If the footprint looks like a foot-shaped blob with no curve, you may have flat feet.
What does your print look like? It might be time for both you and your child to get a podiatric checkup.
How Orthotics Can Help
If your child is showing signs of flat feet, over-pronation, or undeveloped ligaments, custom orthotics can help correct these problems before they become lifelong conditions.
It’s especially important to get supportive orthotics if your child is involved in sports. Custom orthotics are a good way to help children develop the correct gait and posture for sports.
Get Expertly Made Custom Orthotics
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we start with 3D imaging to get a perfect fit. We then create the orthotic that’s just right for you or your child. We give you a complete treatment plan that includes additional therapies and ongoing assessments.
Our family-friendly office is warm and welcoming. We go out of our way to help children feel at ease. We’re patient and compassionate with clients of all ages. If you have concerns about your child’s feet, call us for an appointment today.