Podiatrists are trained to diagnose, treat and evaluate children’s foot problems from developmental concerns to advice about injury, infection and footwear.
Check with a podiatrist if you notice:
- Uneven shoe wear
- Recurring pain in the feet or legs
- Frequent tripping or falling
- Skin rashes, hard skin or lumps or bumps on the feet.
Foot care can begin in infancy. Keeping your babies’ feet un-constrained will allow the baby to kick freely and help develop the muscles in the legs and feet. Grow suits and socks should always be loose around the baby’s feet and soft soled shoes/booties are advised at this age.
Children begin to walk from the age of 10 months, and these first few steps mark an exciting milestone in their life. To help your babies’ feet to grow normally and promote the grasping action of toes, encourage your child to go barefoot or just wear socks at home as often as possible.
Arch height does not always indicate that a child will have problems with their feet..
Sometimes children walk with their feet pointed inward (in toeing) or outward (out toeing), or even on their toes (toe-walking). Generally these variations are normal, and most children will grow out of these walking styles by the age of 2 or 3.
However if there is a strong family history of foot or leg problems and these patterns persist it may be beneficial to have your child assessed by a podiatrist.
Check the shoe size every 1-3 months up to the age of 3, every 4 months to the age of 5 and then every 6 months thereafter. Have your childs’ shoes correctly fitted and measured for length and width. Make sure there is about 10mm of growing room for the child from the longest toe to the end of the shoe.
Shoes should fit comfortably around the heel, have plenty of room for the toes to move and preferably have a strap or laces to secure the foot onto the shoe.