Kids feet- what you need to know- | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz
You worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of the body. You teach washing, brushing and grooming. But what do you do about your child’s developing feet which have to carry the entire weight of the body through a lifetime?
Many adult foot ailments, like other bodily ills, have their origins in childhood and are present at birth. Periodic professional attention and regular foot care can minimize these problems in later life.
Neglecting foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.
Your baby’s feet
The human foot (one of the most complicated parts of the body) has 26 bones, and is laced with ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Because the feet of young children are soft and pliable, abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities.
A child’s feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half their adult foot size. This is why foot specialists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet.
Here are some suggestions to help you assure that this development proceeds normally:
* Look carefully at your baby’s feet. If you notice something that does not look normal to you, seek professional care immediately. Deformities will not be outgrown by themselves.
* Cover your baby’s feet loosely. Tight covers restrict movement and can impede normal development.
* Provide an opportunity for exercising the feet. Lying uncovered enables your baby to kick and perform other related motions which prepare the feet for weight bearing.
*Change your baby’s position several times a day. Lying too long in one spot, especially on the stomach, can put excessive strain on the feet and legs.
Starting to walk
It is unwise to force a child to walk. When physically and emotionally ready, your child will walk. Comparisons with other children are misleading, since the age for independent walking ranges from 10 to 18 months.
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing your child to go barefoot or to wear just socks helps the foot to grow normally and to develop its musculature and strength. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies’ feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.
As your child’s feet continue to develop, it may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for the feet to grow. Although foot problems result mainly from injury, deformity, illness, or hereditary factors, improper footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. Shoes or other footwear should never be handed down.
The feet of young children are often unstable because of muscle problems which make walking difficult or uncomfortable. A thorough examination by a chiropodist may detect an underlying defect or condition which may require immediate treatment or consultation with another specialist.
Podiatrists have long known of the high incidence of foot defects among the young, and recommends foot health examinations for school children on a regular basis.
Millions of children participate in team and individual sports many of them outside the school system, where advice on conditioning and equipment is not always available. Parents should be concerned about children’s involvement in sports that require a substantial amount of running and turning, or involve contact. Protective taping of the ankles is often necessary to prevent sprains or fractures. Parents should consider discussing these matters with a chiropodist if they have children participating in active sports. Sports-related foot and ankle injuries are on the rise as more children actively participate in sports.
Advice for parents
Problems noticed at birth will not disappear by themselves. You should not wait until your child begins walking to take care of a problem you’ve noticed earlier.
Remember that lack of complaint by a youngster is not a reliable sign. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without your child being aware of it.
Walking is the best of all foot exercises, according to chiropodists. We also recommend that walking patterns be carefully observed. Does the child walk toe in or out, have knock knees, or other gait abnormalities? These problems can be improved if they are detected early.
The Podiatrist has a special interest in Children’s feet and has had many year of experience treating all sorts of conditions.
Contact The Podiatrist for an appointment today.
Posted on May 19, 2014, in Contact a Podiatrist, Kids n Motion, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged arch pain, arch support, arch supports, Athlete's foot, Athletic shoe, auckland podiatrists, auckland podiatry, chid's foot, Child, childrens feet, developing feet, developmental, flat feet, Foot, foot pain, Footwear, growing feet, Health, heel pain, inflammation, muscles, north shore podiatry, orthotics, orthotics centre, painful feet, Podiatrist, podiatrists, podiatry, podiatry new zealand, podiatry nz, pronation, remuera podiatrists, remuera podiatry, running, Shoe, shoes, sports podiatrists, sports podiatry, The Podiatrist, toes, walking, west auckland podiatry, your feet. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.