Children are naturally active beings. Their young bodies are full of energy to jump, hop, skip and run around all day long. If your child is having trouble keeping up with the other kids, or is regularly falling over for no apparent reason, they might be having foot problems. Foot conditions can be associated with poor motor skill development, posture issue as well as injuries in their feet, knee, hip and back resulting in pain. As a mother of 2, I understand the worry parents can have regarding their child’s health. In fact, it is the primary discussion when I see children in my clinic.
Here are 8 tips for healthy feet in kids:
- Babies’ feet develop and grow rapidly. Allowing babies to remain barefoot while crawling enables full contact between their skin and the ground, which assists the development of balance. Of course, make sure there are no hazards around that could injure bare feet.
- When your child starts to walk, it’s a good idea to get professionally fitted shoes to ensure a good fit and provide protection. Materials such as canvas or leather are preferred.
- Sock sizes often change as frequently as shoe sizes. Make sure socks aren’t too tight and that they don’t bunch up inside shoes, as they can then rub and may cause blisters.
- Little feet become big feet quickly, and your child can wind up wearing tight-fitting shoes before you’ve had a chance to even think about buying new ones! Measure your child’s feet regularly to be sure they are wearing shoes that fit properly. Shoes that are too tight may cause pain, discomfort and deformity.
- The way your child’s shoes show wear and tear can give you a good indication of incorrect walking patterns or postural problems. Excessive wear and tear, for example, from the outside edge to the inside of the shoe or around the heel is indicative of problems that should be checked out.
- Wash little feet daily in soap and water and dry thoroughly. Little feet often get sweaty, and little cotton threads or even long hair from mum can wrap around little toes inside socks.
- Keep toenails trimmed and take care not to cut nails too close to the skin as this can lead to ingrown toenails that can become painful or infected.
- Children rarely complain about painful or injured feet, so when they do it is important to seek professional advice.
At ProMed we are passionate about Children’s feet. We have one pair to last a life time and therefore early intervention and education is the key.
A check-up with an experienced ProMed Podiatrist is recommended if:
- You notice uneven shoe wear
- You notice any skin rashes, hard skin, lumps or bumps on your child’s feet
- Your child complains of recurrent pain in the feet and/or legs which also increases with activity
- Your child is constantly tripping or falling
- Your child walks on their tip toes
- Your child’s walk does not look symmetrical (or the same on both feet and legs).
- You would like advice on footwear, fitting and socks
- You have a family history of foot or lower limb related issues
- Or you have any other concerns about your child’s feet.
Quick tips for Back to School footwear fitting:
- Always have both feet measured for length and width.
- The shoe should fit the natural shape of the foot, especially around the toes.
- The toe of the shoe should allow toes to move freely and not be squashed from the top or the sides. Make sure there is about 1cm growing room for children between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.
- Shoes should fit comfortably around the heel and not be too loose or too tight.
- Having shoes fitted by a store that offers trained assistants can help ensure the correct size and shape to keep little feet running and jumping.
During the months of January and February all Children who attend ProMed for a foot health assessment will receive a ProMed Podiatry Pack which includes How to tie your laces board, information on foot health and footwear as well as other goodies.
To book your child’s foot health assessment please contact our friendly staff at ProMed Podiatry on 07 5522 1230 or book online via our website.