Help Kids’ Feet Develop
You rely on feet for a lifetime. In fact, a typical 80-year-old might have logged more than 100,000 miles on foot since taking their first steps! Naturally, as a parent, you want to ensure that your little one’s feet grow up healthy and strong so that they’re up to the challenge!
Children’s feet go through lots of changes as they get older. Bones remain relatively soft until later in adolescence, and you may notice feet that point inward slightly (
As a parent, here are some tips to help your child’s feet develop:
- If you notice anything about your child’s feet or walking gait that doesn’t look normal, bring them to Dr. Birnbaum. It’s possible that no treatment may be necessary, but we will want to monitor your little one carefully and detect and treat any serious problems early.
- Don’t put shoes on your infant child, as they can restrict foot development. Kids only need shoes once they begin to walk, and even then, only to protect their feet when outdoors. Shoes should have soft uppers so that the foot shapes the shoe, rather than the shoe shaping the foot. Toddlers under 4 should still go barefoot indoors. Keep your home clean and free from debris in order to create a safe environment.
- When it’s time to go shoe shopping, let your little one participate as much as possible in the process. As you probably already know from your own shoe buying experiences, every shoe fits a little differently—even if they’re the same size. Measure each time and try to get the best fit possible.
- Never give used or hand-me-down footwear
toyour child. Shoes “mold” to accommodate the foot shape of their first owner, and that can cause problems and pain for the second owner—even if it’s little brother.
- Make sure you’re replacing shoes before they get too tight. Kids feet grow fast, we know! But they still need to be able to wiggle their toes comfortably inside their footwear.
- Keep an eye out for the unspoken signs that your child might have foot distress—they won’t always be able or willing to tell you something is wrong. Limping, tripping, shying away from
activeplay, constantly asking to be carried, etc. can all indicate a problem.
Remember that, while kids are tough and resilient, it’s always best to take them in for a quick visit if you have any concerns. Our team specializes in making kids feel comfortable and safe, as well as providing compassionate, gentle, effective care. To make an appointment at our Spring Valley office, please call (845) 352-7507 or fill out our online form.