22 Sep Top 5 things to Know about Kids Feet
About Children’s Feet
Your children run, play, walk, jump, and climb on their feet every day. How much do you know about those feet? If you have questions about your children’s foot health, contact a podiatrist today.
1. It’s Okay for Kids To Go Barefoot
If you’re worried about finding the right shoes for your kids, relax. The right shoes for children might be no shoes at all.
Walking barefoot allows a growing child’s foot to develop into the proper alignment. This is important because it establishes a lifetime of strong ligaments and an excellent range of motion. Forcing children’s feet into shoes can cause the foot joints to grow improperly.
Walking barefoot strengthens the leg and foot muscles. This prevents hip and back problems in adulthood.
There are many good reasons to let your children walk barefoot. Be sure to only allow them to walk barefoot in a safe area where they’re not likely to step on sharp objects.
2. They’re Born With Flat Feet
All children are born with flat feet, but they grow out of it by the time they start walking. This temporary condition is known as “flexible flatfoot” because the child can still bend his foot. Over time, the foot develops a normal arch. A small percentage of children keep their flat feet into adulthood.
A few children develop “rigid flatfoot,” which is a flat foot that never develops an arch. This type of flatfoot will not get better with time. The treatment for flat feet in children usually involves a combination of physical therapy, bracing, and custom orthotics.
3. Their Foot Bones Take a Few Years To Develop
When children are born, their foot bones are not fully formed. It takes several years for their foot bones to grow to full maturity. It usually happens by age 13 in girls and 15 in boys. A normal human foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles.
4. Children Can Develop “Adult” Foot Problems
Adults aren’t the only ones who can develop foot problems. Children can develop ingrown toenails, plantar warts, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, fungal nail, and other ailments. Your child may need a pediatric podiatrist to diagnose and treat these problems.
Check your child’s feet daily. Wash them gently while you check for any bumps, scratches, redness or swelling. Make an appointment with a podiatrist if you notice anything unusual.
5. Children Need the Right Shoes
Like adults, children need the right shoes to enjoy good food health. They should wear shoes with sturdy heels to support their developing feet. A wide toe box gives growing toes the room they need. Look for shoes with flexible straps that allow you to adjust the fit and size.
Kids don’t need an extensive shoe wardrobe. Children’s feet can change in size every six months, so buying two pairs of good, well-made shoes should be enough.
Some people enjoy wearing so-called barefoot or minimalist shoes. These shoes allow your feet to move as if they’re barefoot while protecting them from cold, wet, and hard surfaces. You might consider letting your children wear barefoot children’s shoes.
We Keep Little Feet Healthy
At Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we know all about little feet and how to keep them healthy. Our office specializes in being a warm, welcoming place for children. If your child is having heel pain or foot problems, contact us today to schedule an appointment.