There are so many things we have to remember when taking care of children. We make sure they’re brushing their teeth. We make sure they’re grooming and washing properly. We make sure they’re up-to-date on doctor’s visits. But are we checking their feet regularly? Children’s foot care is often overlooked, but examining your child’s feet on a regular basis is critically important. Here’s why:
Many adult foot conditions have their roots in childhood. Keeping your little one’s feet clean, healthy, and safe can give them a firm foundation for a lifetime of activity. Allowing problems to go untreated, however, can lead to lasting biomechanical issues and chronic discomfort.
Feet affect the entire body. Limping, tripping frequently, poor posture, an awkward or unsteady gait—all of these problems could be related to an untreated foot condition.
Your child won’t do it for you. Remember, kids may not always pipe up if there’s a problem. For one, they might not even feel much discomfort—children’s feet are still soft and flexible. Secondly, they might not think to (or might not want to) say anything to mom and dad until the pain becomes unbearable. That means you need to be proactive and vigilant. If you notice a problem, get it checked.
Now that you know the importance, here are a few children’s foot care tips:
- It is normal for babies and toddlers to walk a bit on their tiptoes at first, and their arches may flatten out when standing. However, if you notice persistent issues such as a pigeon-toed gait, you should seek professional advice.
- Children don’t need shoes until they’re walking, and even then, toddlers should still go barefoot while indoors.
- With any footwear—including socks or booties—check regularly to make sure baby still has plenty of space for wiggling toes. Tight, restrictive footwear can stunt growth and impair development.
- If you notice redness, swelling, blisters, or other skin irritations, there’s a good chance your child’s shoes no longer fit.
- Check shoe treads for uneven wear. Under normal circumstances, the treads should grind down more or less uniformly. If one shoe is more worn that the other, however, or the wear is concentrated on the front, back, or either side of the sole, this could indicate biomechanical issues.
For more children’s foot care tips, visit Family Foot and Ankle Center in OH and KY. Call (513) 728-4800 or (859) 282-1572.