We all want the best for our children and looking after their feet is no exception. Your child’s feet are of major importance in all their actions, and any problems are best detected early to prevent more serious foot complications later in life. Seeing a children’s podiatrist may be recommended, but there are also things that you can do to encourage your child’s foot health and development throughout their early life.
Here are some tips for different life stages, from the team at Entire Podiatry:
It’s best to keep your baby’s feet unconstrained to give your baby the best opportunity to kick freely, and to encourage development of muscles in the legs and feet. Your baby’s clothing should always be kept loose around their feet. It’s also a good idea to let your baby go barefoot as much as possible, as babies learn to gain control and use of their feet through feeling. Massaging your baby’s feet is another a great activity at this age.
When your child starts walking (usually between 10 and 24 months of age), allow them to go barefoot or to just wear socks as much as possible. This will help improve sensation in their feet, encourage grasping action of their toes, and promote normal foot growth. You may notice variations in the walking styles of toddlers. In many cases, children who walk with their feet pointed inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing) will outgrow these walking styles. However unusual walking patterns may persist and if you have any concerns it is recommended that you take your child to see a podiatrist. Tip-toe walking (where a child walks on their toes) is not a normal variation and if you notice this walking pattern in your child, review by a podiatrist should be arranged.
As your child develops and enters the school years, their feet will grow rapidly. One of the most important things you can do for your child’s feet during this developmental stage is to frequently check your child’s foot size, and make sure their shoes and socks are the right size to accommodate their feet. (Check our this video for tips on fitting school shoes).
As your child begins to participate in more sports and physical activity, you may notice complaints of other symptoms such as heel pain, tired legs, or coordination difficulties. However, childhood foot problems do not always cause symptoms and it can be difficult for parents to detect issues.
Podiatrists are able to provide treatment for a range of children’s conditions and if you have any concerns about your child’s feet or walking it’s best to make an appointment for professional assessment and advice.
To make an appointment to see a Children’s Podiatrist in Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Logan or the Gold Coast, call Entire Podiatry on 1800-4-ENTIRE (that’s 1800-4-368473), or contact one of our 9 clinic locations directly.