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
When people have babies, they’re always warned about the “soft spot” on the head – that the skull bones haven’t fused enough to adequately cover the brain.
It’s such a well-known fact, most people don’t give it a second thought. But in reality, babies are born with nearly 100 bones that need to close and grow to create bones and joints.
Some of those bones are in the feet, and they make up your foot arch. Most people don’t realize it, but arches don’t develop until around the age of 6, after walking, standing and other activities have strengthened the bones and cartilage.
Before that, babies and toddlers have a stage of development called flexible flat feet. This is characterized by the presence of arches when children are sitting or standing on their toes, but the arch disappears when they put weight on their feet.
Flexible flat feet are normal, and for 80-90 percent of children, they’re temporary. However, for a smaller portion of the population, arches never develop, which is a condition called pediatric flat feet.
Quality of life
Some children with flat feet are able to accommodate their condition quite well. These cases – called asymptomatic flat feet – will likely never require treatment.
However, if children develop pain, tenderness or cramping in the feet, legs and knees, or if they find difficulty walking, wearing shoes or participating in activities, they likely have symptomatic flat feet. In these cases, medical advice and treatment should be sought.
The Podiatrist is well-versed in the bones and structure of children’s feet, and knows best how arches should develop and function.
When you first have an appointment, The Podiatrist will conduct a physical examination of the foot and will observe children standing, sitting and walking.
After diagnosis, treatment options can vary. Children with asymptomatic flat feet – when there’s no pain or difficulty walking – typically only need periodic checkups. Children with symptomatic flat feet, however, typically need intervention and additional care.
For most cases, non-surgical approaches are best, often starting with activity modification. This could mean cutting down on time playing sports or avoiding prolonged periods of standing.
To help children with their daily activities, a wide range of orthotic accessories – such as shoe inserts – are available.
The Podiatrist can also recommend styles and brands of shoes that can help ease flat feet. In some cases, custom orthotic devices can be created that support the structure of the foot and improve function.
Ongoing support measures can include physiotherapy, where children can work with a therapist on stretching exercises that provide relief for flat feet. Certain medications, ranging from ibuprofen to prescriptions, can also reduce pain and inflammation.
In general, pediatric flat feet are a relatively normal, treatable condition. If you have additional questions, or think your child may have flat feet, talk to The Podiatrist today.
For all your foot problems, visit The Podiatrist.