You remember preparing for your first day of school; the shopping, in particular shoe shopping, and the wonder of a pair of brand new sneakers, shoes or even sandals. Somehow, the experience is very different when, as a parent, you have to be concerned about size and budget, instead of style and colour as your child!
Since parents tend to take advantage of back to school sales, health experts advise that you have to be careful about which shoes and school bags are bought. Shopping for new school shoes is a chore that parents everywhere share, as they prepare their children for school for the first time, or on their return from holidays
Children spend around 30-45 hours a week in their school shoes, or more than 15,000 hours during their school years, so it’s vital that they’re fitted properly. In the first 11 years of a child’s life, feet may grow through approximately 17 shoe sizes, up until they’re 18 years of age. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to problems in adulthood, such as ingrown toenails, corns and bunions, which may even require surgery later in life.
Important Purchasing Advice
• Always have your child’s feet measured before you buy shoes. Children’s feet grow quickly, so you shouldn’t rely on a previous measurement.
• Opt for new shoes, once financially possible, instead of accepting hand-me-downs. That will help ensure a better fit and avoid spreading germs, such as the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
• Inspect the heels of your child’s shoes for uneven wear, which may indicate a foot problem.
• Don’t buy shoes that aren’t comfortable. There should be no reason to “break in” a new pair of shoes.
It’s no surprise that kids want to be like other kids and wear what their friends are wearing. Even in pre-school, style is important. Still, from mom and dad’s point of view, there is more to shoes than looking good.
These tips will explain why:
• Shoes need to be flexible and able to sustain extreme activity. They should also provide support and cushioning and be breathable, to allow body heat and moisture to escape.
• However, a bad fit can negate all the benefits of a good shoe, so finding the right size is essential. Since shoe sizes tend to vary by manufacturer, an accurate fit can only be assured once the foot is inside the shoe.
• A tip for making sure that the shoe size fits, is measuring the distance between the second toe and the end of the shoe. The second toe is usually the longest.
• Have your child walk around in the shoes to make sure that they don’t hit the ankle bones or have seams that rub against the foot.
• Though it may seem children quickly outgrow their shoes, buying shoes that are too big isn’t a good idea. A loose fit can cause painful calluses and sores, because there is too much movement in the shoe. On the other hand, shoes that are too small can cause an abnormal gait that can misalign growing bones in the feet.
It may be time to get a new pair of shoes if your child begins to complain about shoes that are uncomfortable; be aware, however, that trend conscious youngsters have been known to “need” new shoes because of what the others kids are wearing. Shoes can put a dent in any household budget, so make sure that the shoes fit when you buy them, and before you buy a bigger pair of shoes.
Buy shoes at the end of the day
While you might decide to head out bright and early to get your child’s shoes fitted, bear in mind that it’s best to go during late afternoon. This is because children’s feet often get a little more swollen by the end of the day. That way, you’ll get school shoes fitted when your child’s feet are at their biggest.
Other things to look out for
While you might usually expect to only think about school shoes and your kids’ feet once a year, here’s a checklist of things to look out for, and see a podiatrist/foot health practitioner if necessary:
• Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knees or legs
• Unexplained tripping and falling (if it happens regularly)
• Uneven shoe wear, or one shoe that wears down before the other
• Skin or toenail irritation.
Do share this information with your kids who are old enough to appreciate the advice to minimise peer pressure, and ultimately your stress levels … Happy shopping!
Your feet mirror your general health… cherish them!
There is a great range of summer sandals ideal for school and casual wear available from Scooters.
Children’s feet change with age. Shoe and sock sizes may change every few months as a child’s feet grow.
- Shoes that don’t fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes, and watch for signs of irritation.
- Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread fungi like athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
- Examine the heels. Children may wear through the heels of shoes quicker than outgrowing shoes themselves. Uneven heel wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by a podiatrist.
- Take your child shoe shopping. Every shoe fits differently. Letting a child have a say in the shoe buying process promotes healthy foot habits down the road.
- Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are seldom precisely the same size.
- Buy shoes that do not need a “break-in” period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Also make sure to have your child try on shoes with socks or tights, if that’s how they’ll be worn.
- Consider closed toe shoes. Covering the child’s toes allows for more protection.
Do Your Child’s Shoes “Make The Grade?”
- Look for a stiff heel. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It shouldn’t collapse.
- Check toe flexibility. The shoe should bend with your child’s toes. It shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area.
- Select a shoe with a rigid middle. Does your shoe twist? Your shoe should never twist in the middle.
- Are the shoes secure on the foot? Laces or Velcro are best to hold the foot in place.
Additional Advice for Parents
- Foot problems noticed at birth will not disappear by themselves. Do not wait until children get older to fix a problem. Foot problems in youths can lead to create problems down the road.
- Get your child checked by The Podiatrist. A lack of complaint by a youngster is not a reliable sign that there is no problem. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware of it.
- Walking is the best of all foot exercises. Observe your child’s walking patterns. Does your child have gait abnormalities? Correct the problem before it becomes a bigger issue.
- Going barefoot is a healthy activity for children under the right conditions. However, walking barefoot on dirty pavement can expose children’s feet to the dangers of infection through accidental cuts and to severe contusions, sprains or fractures. Plantar warts, a virus on the sole of the foot, can also be contracted.
Children’s sports-related injuries are on the rise. A child’s visit to The Podiatrist can help determine any concerns there may be regarding the child participating in specific sports and help identify the activities that may be best suited for the individual child.
Visit The Podiatrist for any concerns you may have.
A day in the sun can end with a day at the doctor’s office if the proper safety measures are ignored. Before children catch a glimpse of the giant slide at the pool, the oversized toys at the park or the exciting rides at the amusement park, prepare them with the right footwear and protect them with the right care.
– Carefully observe your child’s walking patterns. Does your child have toes that point in or out, have knock-knees or other gait abnormalities? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early and treated by aThe Podiatrist.
– Children’s feet change size rapidly, so always have your child’s feet measured each time you purchase new shoes.
– When shopping for shoes, look for stiff material on either side of the heel, adequate cushioning and a built-in arch. The shoe should bend at the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe. Never wear hand-me-down shoes.
– Limit the time children wear platform or heeled shoes and alternate with good quality sneakers or flat shoes. High-tops generally help prevent ankle sprains.
– Don’t buy shoes that need a “break-in” period. Good shoes should feel comfortable right away. For athletic activities, choose a shoe that is designed for the sport your child will be playing.
– Never pack brand-new shoes for your children to wear on vacation.
– Walking barefoot on pavement, hotel or airplane carpeting, in hotel bathrooms or a locker room and near the pool can make your child susceptible to a host of infections. Always wear a pair of flip-flops or strappy sandals made of soft, supple leather to prevent contracting a bacteria or fungus like athlete’s foot or plantar warts.
– When applying sunscreen, don’t forget to put some on your child’s feet. Additionally, always remember to re-apply.
– Lack of complaints by a youngster is not a reliable sign. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be twisted and distorted without the child being aware.
– Be careful about applying home remedies to children’s feet. Preparations strong enough to kill certain types of fungus can harm the skin.
Your best bet is to visit The Podiatrist.
Strong, healthy feet begin in childhood where early recognition and management of foot problems will prevent medical and structural problems later in life.
Unless a child has an obvious deformity or troublesome foot issue there is a good chance that his or her foot problem will be overlooked. Children’s feet are an important part of an overall developmental process. Any abnormalities within the feet will affect the general posture, causing changes within the skeletal structure. Some common children’s foot conditions are: flat feet, in-toe and out-toe walking and toe walking with the heels not touching the ground.
Sometimes the bone of the upper or lower leg is slightly twisted, a condition that may have a family history. If the leg bone is twisted inwards, the child may walk with toes-in and conversely if the bone is twisted outwards the walk is toes-out. A short or tight Achilles tendon is the most common cause when a child walks on tiptoes only. This condition could also be neurologically based so it is important that the child have a development assessment. Flat feet is a common foot condition characterized by an abnormally low or absent medial longitudinal arch, especially on weight bearing. It is normal for infants and toddlers to have low arches but they should be observed for any abnormal in-toeing, out-toeing or, excessive limping. Kids who over pronate often complain of night cramps, shin splints or heel pain.
For a proper assessment take your child to Kidsnmotion Podiatrists. Treatments usually consist of monitoring, exercises, activity alteration, orthotics, splints, braces, footwear,
Warning signs that your child should have a foot check-up: shoe wear is uneven, lumps or bumps are evident on the feet, pain in the feet, heel or leg, excessive tripping or falling, visible skin or toenail problems.
For more information make an appointment today
When it comes to buying shoes for your children, there are so many different styles available; it can sometimes be difficult to figure out which one to choose. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your child needs proper foot support during childhood’s critical growth years.
A child’s foot can grow up to about the age of 18, and the most important development happens in the first seven years. Here is a quick look at how fast kids’ feet grow:
— Under 12 months old, every 2 months.
— 12 months to 2.5 years old, every 3 months.
— 2.5 to 4 years old, every 4 months.
— From 4 to 6 years old, every 6 months.
Shoes that do not fit properly can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. That is why it is important to always measure a child’s feet before buying shoes. Every shoe fits differently, so do not buy shoes based solely on the size printed on the shoebox. Make sure your child tries on every shoe and watch them as they walk to make sure they seem comfortable and fit properly.
Shoe Buying Tips When you find shoes that you like, hold them in your hand and examine them. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), experts in foot health and development, recommends you look for the following features:
Flexibility. Typically, the younger the child, the thinner and more flexible the soles should be. The sole should be easily flexible and be able to bend in your hand without effort. It should bend with your child’s toes — where the ball of the foot will be rather than in the middle of the shoe.
Toe room. While your child is standing, you should be able to press about a half inch, roughly a finger’s width, between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. The area of the shoe just below the laces should crease when your baby takes a step.
Materials. The upper part of the shoe should be made of breathable materials such as leather, rather than synthetic materials. The insoles should be cushioned for comfort. Feel around inside the shoe for irregularities in stitching, glue or stapling. Look for a stiff heel cup. Press on both sides of the heel counter. It should not collapse.
To help parents find shoes that fit properly, here are some helpful shoe buying tips:
— Make sure to see a professional trained in fitting shoes for infants, toddlers and young
— Have your child’s feet measured every 2 to 3 months until toddler years, then every 3 to 4
months after that.
— Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Always buy for the larger foot.
— Do not buy shoes that need “breaking in.” Shoes should be comfortable from the
beginning. Observe your child walking around in both shoes for longer than a few
minutes. Then, check each foot to make certain there are no irritation marks.
— Make sure the shoe is not too heavy. A heavy shoe can make your child walk irregularly,
preventing the development of a normal walking pattern.
— If a child complains of foot pain or discomfort, schedule a check-up with you The
Podiatrist who specializes in children’s foot care.
Tips for Buying Kids’ Shoes
— Shoes that do not fit properly can aggravate the feet. Always measure a child’s feet
before buying shoes and fit the shoe to the foot.
— Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe size fits one child comfortably does not
mean it will fit another the same way. In addition, the practice of sharing shoes can
spread fungi like athletes foot and nail fungus.
— Watch for signs of irritation. Redness is a sure sign that a shoe is too tight or too loose. If
your child always wants to remove one or both of his/her shoes, this may be an unspoken
sign that the shoes do not fit properly.
— Examine the heels. When children begin to show in toeing, they may wear through the
heels of their shoes much quicker than outgrowing the shoes themselves. Uneven heel
wear can indicate a foot problem that should be checked by The Podiatrist.
— Shop for shoes later in the day. Feet tend to swell during the day, so take your children
shoe shopping when their feet are swollen, to ensure they’ll get the proper fit for all day