The wrong school shoes could cause bunions, corns, calluses, blisters, clawed toes, heel pain or change the shape and function of a foot.
School shoes would be one of those things that one should consider spending a bit more money on as children spend up to 40 hours a week in them.
More expensive shoes are likely to last a lot longer than the cheaper ones.
Parents of children with flat feet should be particularly careful.
Runners could also provide support, as long as they were fitted properly, Ms Biedak said.
Ballet flats and skater shoes for everyday wear at school is not recommended.
GET IT RIGHT
You would be better off taking your child with you to get school shoes. Shoes need to fit properly. It is not a guessing game, and all makes fit differently. A size and fit in one make is not necessary the same size and fit in another.
TIPS FOR BUYING SCHOOL SHOES
– Measure BOTH feet, as most people will have one foot longer or wider than the other
– Look for soles made from rubber and double-stitching around the toe area, which will give shoes a longer life
– Avoid slip-on shoes
– Avoid second-hand shoes as the worn shoe will have moulded to the shape of the previous wearer and could cause problems for your child’s feet
– It’s best to buy shoes in the late afternoon as children’s feet often swell by the end of the day
– There should be a child’s thumb-width between the end of the shoe and the end of the longest toe
– The widest part of the foot should correspond with the widest part of the shoe
– The fastening mechanism should hold the heel firmly in the back of the shoe
– The sole should not twist
– The heel should be snug but comfortable and the back part of the shoe strong and stable
– Your child should be able to move their toes freely, the shoes shouldn’t hurt and there should be no bulges from the toes on either side of the shoe
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
– Children complaining of pain in the feet, heel, knee or legs
– Regular, unexplained tripping or falling
– Uneven shoe wear or one shoe that wears down before the other
– Skin or toenail irritation
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.
Neglecting your child’s foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back.
Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime. Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood.
In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly reaching almost half their adult foot size. The Podiatrist considers the first year to be the most important in regards to development.
To help ensure normal growth, parents should allow their baby to kick and stretch his or her feet and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.
Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits. For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement. Walking barefoot, where it is safe, is also good for children. However, children’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear or hosiery until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age. In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.
When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread. It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle, without this your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on. The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.
Parents are encouraged to contact The Podiatrist for further consultation on their child’s growing, active feet. Having strong, healthy helps children to walk, run, and play, which is why it is important to take extra precautions to protect their feet in order to provide them a lifetime of healthy feet.
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.