Children are usually flat-footed when walking first begins, which typically happens around 12 months of age. As the muscles in the foot start to strengthen, this condition commonly disappears. Walking barefoot at this age not only teaches the child to develop balance, it can eliminate the need to buy shoes every few months to accommodate the growing feet. Once the decision is made to buy shoes, it would be beneficial to have the feet professionally measured for length and width to avoid certain problems, such as ingrown toenails. Choosing shoes that have proper heel support and enough room for the toes to fit comfortably is vital for correct foot development. On occasion, the child may exhibit symptoms of certain foot issues, such as toes that are abnormally shaped, stiffness in the foot, or not walking by the age of 2. A consultation with a podiatrist may be helpful if you have concerns about how your child’s feet are developing.
Making sure that your children maintain foot health is very important as they grow. If you have any questions, contact one of our podiatrists of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
Having healthy feet in childhood can help prevent medical problems later in life, namely in the back and legs. As children grow, their feet require different types of care from birth to school-age.
Although babies do not walk yet, it is still very important to take care of their feet.
- Avoid putting tight shoes or socks on his or her feet
- Allow the baby to stretch and kick his or her feet to feel comfortable
As a toddler, kids are now on the move and begin to develop differently. At this age, toddlers are getting a feel for walking, so don’t be alarmed if your toddler is unsteady or ‘walks funny’.
As your child gets older, it is important to teach them how to take care of their feet
- Show them proper hygiene to prevent infections such as fungus
- Be watchful of any pain or injury
- Have all injuries checked by a doctor as soon as possible
- Comfortable, protective shoes should always be worn, especially at play