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 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.
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
CHOOSING the right shoe for school for Winter is important for growing feet, but often the choice is complicated by a preference for fashion over function.
All the kids want is what is in fashion, but they’re just not right for school, and are often not suitable for the wet weather.
Mums don’t mind spending the dollars but in choosing the right shoe, they need to be aware of fit, length and width as well as style. Children spend many hours a day in these shoes so they (shoes) need to be sturdy and durable.
If you buy a cheap synthetic shoe you’ll increase the likelihood of tinea (athletes foot) which rises massively in closed-in shoes and wet weather.
When buying, look at the breathability. Leather and mesh are always better options.
Ask your footwear provider to make certain that what you are buying is appropriate- after all, they are the experts.
A well-made shoe that fits right is not only more comfortable for your children, but can help them avoid injury. Do you know what features you should look for in your child’s footwear?
A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains, both in class and on the playground
Here are some tips for how to buy children’s shoes.
- Children’s feet change with age. Shoe and sock size 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
Tips for Buying Children’s Athletic Footwear.
A child’s court shoe:
- should support both sides of the foot, due to the quick lateral movements and weight shifts in court sports; and
- provide a flexible sole for fast changes of direction.
A child’s running shoe:
- should provide maximum shock absorption to help runners avoid ailments such as shin splints and knee pain; and
- control the way your child’s heel strikes the ground, so the rest of the foot can fall correctly.
- should be made of a natural/synthetic blend, as this helps “wick” away moisture best; and
- not contain any large seams that can cause blisters or irritation.
Visit The Podiatrist if you have any questions.
What is it about children’s feet that make them seem like the fastest-growing part of their body? With the warmer weather approaching, now is the time to start shopping for sandals- for school and casual, you might hope you can stop spending on shoes – at least until the next change of season.
But kids’ feet do grow year round, right along with the rest of them. In fact, a child’s shoe and sock sizes may change every few months.
Comfortable, sturdy shoes are among the most important articles of clothing you’ll buy for your child at any time of year. Ill-fitting shoes can cause
problems that range from minor blisters and discomfort to serious injuries and impaired development.
A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains – both in class and on the playground. Unless your child
complains of discomfort, you may not realize he or she needs new shoes. Parents need to be vigilant to ensure kids are wearing shoes that fit properly and
provide the stability and support kids need.
Conduct the time-honored toe test – using your thumb or forefinger to determine where the child’s big toe is inside the shoe – once a month. Inspect
shoes regularly for signs of wear that could compromise their stability. When it’s time to by children’s shoes, here is a simple guideline for parents.
Checking for three different aspects of a shoe’s design makes it easy for parents to distinguish which models are right for their child’s foot friendly.
Here is procedure to follow when buying new shoes:
1. Look for a stiff heel. The heel counter should not collapse when pressed from both sides.
2. Ensure the shoe bends at the toes, but nowhere else.
3. Finally, make sure the shoe does not twist in the middle.
In addition, keep these tips in mind to help ensure kids are wearing comfortable shoes and practicing good foot health:
*Take children with you when you buy their shoes and shop at the end of the day when feet are at their biggest. Every shoe fits differently, and allowing a
child to have a say in the shoe-shopping process can help promote healthy foot care habits down the road.
* Always buy for the larger foot. Feet are rarely the exact same size, so buy a shoe that fits the slightly larger foot.
* Avoid shoes that require a “break-in” period to feel comfortable. Shoes should be comfortable immediately. Be sure your child tries on the shoe wearing whatever type of socks or tights they will use with it.
* Never hand down footwear. Just because a shoe fits one child comfortably doesn’t mean it will fit another in the same way. Also, sharing shoes can spread athlete’s foot and nail fungus.
* Whenever possible, purchase shoes at a shoe store staffed by well-trained fitters. An experienced sales person can help relieve worries over getting the proper fit.
If your child’s shoes show uneven wear or wear out on the heels quickly, it could indicate a problem that should be examined by a Podiatrist who
specializes in children’s foot problems.
Contact your local podiatrist: www.thepodiatrist.co.nz
WALKING is a milestone in every child’s life, and often parents take it into a bragging right, comparing their child’s walking timeline to other kids’. In their minds, the earlier their child takes those tentative first steps, the better parents they are.
Between the ages of 12 and 18 months, children start to take their first steps. Every child is different, and the only way to go about it is to let them take the lead.
Another thing that parents need to be aware of is proper footwear for kids.
When children can walk steadily (around 18 months old), they should wear “healthy” shoes with mild arch support.
When buying shoes for kids, parents need to reserve one finger’s spacing (i.e. 8-10mm). Most parents have a tendency to buy shoes that are way bigger than their child’s feet, in the hope that the child will grow into them. As kids’ feet grow fast, it is also one way of reducing the need to replace the shoes every six months. Lee says this should never be done.
Do not buy shoes that are too large. Excessive rubbing against the shoes when walking will lead to callus. Besides, since there is too much space between the shoes and their feet, children will try to hold onto their shoes with toes and this will lead to claw toes in the long term.
There are areas of concern that parents should pay attention to when considering footwear for their child.
Flatfoot is a common one, where the foot arch is flattened or fallen when standing, without the normal curve that it should have.
People with a flatfoot become tired and feel the pain easily when they walk. For serious cases, it will affect their knee joints and backbones.
Flatfoot is inborn or genetically linked in most people.
> Children below the age of four: There is a thick layer of fat beneath their feet covering the foot arch, which makes them look as if they have flatfoot. It can’t be determined yet if they really have flatfoot or not, until the layer of fat disappears gradually. Normally, the foot arch develops its shape between four and six years old.
> Children between four and 13 years old: Starting from the age of four, the layer of fat beneath their feet reduces steadily. Before the age of 14, their bones are still in developmental stage. So children with flatfoot could still be treated by using suitable arch inserts and going for regular exercises and a balanced diet to avoid getting fat. There is still room for improvement and it is possible to prevent long-term problems reccurring.
> Children aged above 14: Their bones mature after the age of 14. Although at this stage flatfoot is difficult to improve, it is still necessary to use suitable arch inserts and to do regular exercises to minimise long-term problems (caused by flatfoot).
When choosing the right shoes
> Some mothers believe they should look for shoes with arches for children under two. This can, in fact, interfere with their ability to walk.
> Each child has a unique walking pattern, but more than 40% of mothers do not realize this. Most would put their kids in hand-me-down shoes, especially from older siblings or cousins. This should not be encouraged.
Shoes worn by one child over a period of time would be worn in places depending on the walking pattern. When you put the same shoes on another child, who has a different walking pattern, the support and fit would be off. The child would be trying to form to the gait of another child.
> For the best fit, children’s feet need to be measured every two to three months until the age of two as foot growth is rapid during the first two years. After that, have regular checks every four to six months.
> Bones are not fully formed in a child’s foot until age five, therefore the cartilage can be easily influenced by ill-fitting footwear. It should also be noted that the feet grow right into your late teens, therefore your child’s 10th pair of shoes is just as important as the first one.
> Babies’ feet perspire two times more than adults’, so you should always look for breathable material like leather and mesh or anti-microbial linings.
They should opt for footwear with a hard heel counter, mild arch support and different sizes of toe box that are suitable for forefeet fat and thin.
For professional advice or help with a problem, see The Podiatrist.