Toddler to Teen: Keep Children’s Feet Healthy

Delayed walking in children - Dr Shuman offers corrective foot care

01 Mar Toddler to Teen: Keep Children’s Feet Healthy

Toddler to Teen: Keep Children’s Feet Healthy

When it comes to your children’s feet, when should you worry? Little feet are constantly changing and growing and sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s normal and what isn’t.
Some things may look like deformities but aren’t; in almost all cases, for instance, babies outgrow bowlegs, pigeon toe and toe walking. Other conditions require pediatric foot care.


Most babies are born without arches. At the age of two or three, arches should be visible. In flatfoot the arch is weak or nonexistent.

There are two types of flatfoot. Flexible flatfoot means the arches are pliable. In most cases children grow out of it. But if they don’t, or if the flatfoot causes pain, consult a podiatrist. Flexible flatfoot can be corrected with physical therapy, stretching and special orthotics for kids.

Rigid flatfoot is rare and indicates a bone abnormality. It will require more intensive treatment and possibly surgery.

Toe Walking

All infants walk on their toes at first but if it continues past the age of two, or if your child is in pain, it’s time to consult a doctor. A podiatrist will prescribe a regimen of physical therapy, splints or braces to help your child walk properly.


Clubfoot is a congenital foot deformity. About one in 1000 children are born with clubfoot. As with other deformities, corrective foot care at an early age will make all the difference.
A child with untreated clubfoot will never develop normal walking ability. In the past the only treatment was surgery. Now most doctors use the Ponseti method, a system of gentle stretching, casting and bracing that gradually straightens the feet.

Cavus Foot

In this condition the arches are abnormally high, which can cause heel pain and make the ankles unstable. Doctors usually treat cavus foot with orthotics or with bracing and splinting. Cavus foot is often caused by other illnesses so it is critical to get a thorough diagnosis and treat the underlying disease.

Severs Disease

A strain in the Achilles tendon that causes heel pain, this condition is common in children aged 8-14 who play sports. Your podiatrist can prescribe special orthotics for kids to remedy it.

Some Symptoms to Watch

  • Your child is reluctant to play, or seems to tire easily.
  • Clumsiness or frequent falls could indicate poor bone alignment.
  • Your child hides his or her feet from you. Make a foot and ankle inspection part of your daily routine. Watch for signs of blisters that don’t heal, unusual calluses, or skin discolorations.

Four Steps to Happy Feet

1. Let babies walk barefoot in the house; growing feet need fresh air and room to expand. This also allows you to spot any irregularities right away.

2. Wash your little ones’ feet daily and keep their toenails trimmed.

3. Don’t force your child to walk. Children know when they are ready, usually between 10 and 18 months of age.

4. Regularly measure their feet to make sure their shoes are the right size; babies’ and toddlers’ feet can grow two to three sizes a year.

Whether it’s growing pains or a condition that requires corrective foot care, you’ll get peace of mind when you consult a podiatrist. Dr. Shuman is an expert in pediatric foot care who will diagnose the condition, prescribe the right treatment and make sure your child always has happy, healthy feet.

Resources: – Children’s Foot Health  or WebMD – Delayed Walking


About: Dr Shuman provides podiatry services in Sterling, Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg Va.  Shuman Podiatry offers: custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more.  Contact Dr Shuman today for all your foot care needs.

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