School kids are extremely active – they spend lots of time running around with friends and taking part in energetic sports lessons. By the time kids start school all the bones in their feet are fully developed and they have good control over the speed at which they move. They are able to make complex movements and are generally a lot more stable on their legs than they were at preschool.
For this reason, finding a pair of school shoes that are robust enough to withstand all of this activity, whilst also allowing kids’ feet to grow and move naturally is important, particularly because kids’ feet can continue growing until they are about 18 years old.
The school shoe checklist
When choosing school shoes it is important to look out for the following features:
• The sole of the shoe should be straight and should not twist.
• The shoe should not bend in the middle, but it should bend at the ball of the foot.
• Back parts of the shoe should be firm and supportive and the front parts of the shoe should be more flexible.
• All fastenings should be fully adjustable – laces, Velcro or buckles are recommended. Slip-ons generally do not give enough support.
• The fastening mechanism should hold the foot firmly in the heel of the shoe.
• Shoe materials should be robust and durable.
• The upper parts of the shoe should be made from leather or other breathable fabrics.
• The shoe should be lined with breathable materials, so that any moisture is drawn away from the foot.
• Brands that offer whole and half-sizes and a variety of widths will ensure the best fit possible.
Good quality school shoes can be expensive. Whilst it may be tempting to put your kids in a pair of hand-me-downs, using second-hand school shoes is not recommended. In all likelihood they will not fit your child properly, be worn down and have very little support. When it comes to school shoes, brand new is always best.
Contact The Podiatrist for all your foot care needs.
Many parents underestimate the importance of their children seeing The Podiatrist regularly. Just as they see a dentist to keep their teeth and gums healthy, children should see The Podiatrist to ensure that their feet and ankles are developing normally. This is especially important for kids who play sports where lots of running or footwork is involved.
During a recent exam, an eight year old patient complained of heel pain, particularly after playing sports. It had worsened over the last few months, and her mother thought it might be plantar fasciitis. In fact, it was osteochondroses, also known as Sever’s disease. Simply put, this condition usually occurs in overactive children who have tight Achilles tendons. The pain results from the repetitive pulling of the tendon on the growth plate in the heel bone.
Treatment of Sever’s disease often consists of immobilization, anti-inflammatories, and stretching before and after activity. Orthotics or a heel pad will also help decrease the tension of the Achilles tendon on the heel. Spontaneous resolution occurs when the growth plate closes as the child grows.
Thankfully, we were able to diagnose the patient’s condition and treat it accordingly. She now has less pain and can prevent injury as she grows. Eventually, this pain will most likely go away on its own.
If you think your child has any foot problems, contact The Podiatrist.
The saying it take a village to raise a child may be true. We are here to help you care for your child’s feet and set a good example. Prevention is very important when it come to the health of your child, and this includes feet! Check out these ten tips for caring for feet
- Look carefully at your newborn’s feet. Lookout for abnormalities and make sure they get checked out and treated before they become a serious problem.
2. Lightly cover your baby’s feet- Allowing your baby to kick and move around encourage muscle development in the feet. Tight covers could slow development.
3. Let your toddler go shoeless- Going barefoot indoors is healthy especially as a child begins to walk
4. Watch for lingering toe-walking. Walking solely on the toes after age 2 could be a sign of more serious problems.
5. Cut toenails straight across. This helps avoid ingrown toenails.
6. Keep feet clean and dry. Clean, dry feet will help prevent infections.
7. Buy shoes that fit well. Kids feet should be every time shoes are purchased because they grow so quickly.
8. Prevention- Don’t allow your child to walk barefoot outdoors or in areas where sharp objects may be on the floor. This will prevent foreign objects from entering your child’s foot and causing pain and injury.
9. Cover Cuts- Wash and cover cuts until they have healed.
10. Set a Good Example- Take good care of your feet and your child should learn by example.
If you notice any abnormalities in your child’s feet, be sure to schedule an appointment with The Podiatrist.