The human foot is much more than meets the eye. It’s a very complex body part. It’s made up of so many bones, joints, tendons, muscles, and ligaments, that a lot can go wrong. These facts make diagnosing feet problems extremely complex. A lot of children suffer from flat feet. Below, you will learn what flat feet are and some of the things that you should know about them.
The issue of flat feet
Babies are naturally born with a pad of fat on their feet. This pad of fat is located right where their arches will be. This is partially why a baby’s feet are so chubby and cute.
At birth, a baby doesn’t have any formed bones. Instead, it only has softer and much more pliable bone much like cartilage. As your child continues to grow, their feet become much more solid because the soft bones get harder. Eventually, their adult foot grows into form.
The kids that have flat feet are when they don’t have developed arches while standing. This can be a very common occurrence in toddlers because they tend to have some of the weakest muscle tones in their feet. They generally have a lot of fat padding still there and ligaments that allow their foot to tilt inwards.
Once your child begins to walk, they end up developing stronger muscles and ligaments. By the time they reach around 5 years old, they generally have an arch that has been developed. Some kids may have this arch develop until they reach 8 or 9 years old.
There are several ways to check your child’s feet to see whether or not they suffer from flat feet. One of the best ways is by having them stand on their tippy-toes. You can also have them dangle out their feet from a high chair. Each of these methods will allow you to check for a curved arch on the bottom of their feet. You want to check to see if there is any curvature to their feet.
However, don’t be too concerned if your child suffers from flatter feet than you expect. There is an average of 3%–13% of kids that suffer from flat feet. It’s something to look out for and potentially look into if your child starts to complain about foot pain.
Buying shoes for kids with flat feet
Keep in mind, kids going barefoot is always the best approach if the environment allows for it. Allowing kids to walk around barefoot will help them develop their muscles. It will also help the ligaments get stronger. It helps to keep shoes and other instruments from altering the foot in any way that could hinder its development.
When you buy wide shoes, you want to factor in your kid’s foot development. Giving your children room for their feet to grow into the shows is important. After all, poor-fitting shoes can negatively impact the development of your kid’s feet. Any large gaps between their bones can get bent without even knowing it. Propet Shoes are a great choice.
Ideally, you want to avoid flared or undershot heels. Both of these things can cause instability. Rather, you should look to choose shoes that have durability, flexibility, and stability in the heels. Having flexible shoes can be very important. This is especially true for toddlers and younger kids because you want their feet to be able to move freely.
While having shoes with integrated arch support isn’t going to help the development of the arch, it can allow them to walk naturally which does help with development.
Some tips to minimise flat feet problems
You want your shoes to enhance the function of your child’s feet. You don’t want it to restrict the movement or function of their feet. You can do this by getting the right shoes that feature the most breathable and flexible materials. You also want to look for adjustable fastenings to achieve this. You want to have your child’s feet measured repeatedly during their development because they are going to grow a lot. You want to give your children a minimum of 10mm of growing room for those who aren’t yet walking and 14mm for those that are already walking. One of the biggest things that contribute to adult foot trouble is poor fitting shoes while young. By making the effort now to reduce foot problems, you can prevent these issues from developing in the future.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.