When babies are born, their feet are generally very flexible. Ligaments connect the 26 bones and 35 joints for optimum support, and is often surrounded by fat for additional padding. Most children have flat feet, and the arch typically forms when walking begins, which is commonly about 12 months of age. As the child begins to walk, research has shown that wearing a shoe with a soft sole will encourage the child to feel and be aware of the ground they’re walking on. This will enable muscle strength to develop, and the child may gradually move to a shoe with a firmer sole. It’s crucial to measure your child’s feet frequently to allow for the proper size shoes to be selected. Once the correct shoe size is determined, the shoe should fit comfortably with adequate room for the toes to move about. If you observe your child is still flat footed after walking or has feet that turn inward or outward, it’s suggested to consult with a podiatrist for advice about possible treatment options.
<!–><!––><!––>The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Princeton Foot & Ankle Associates. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
- <!––>Make sure their shoes fit properly
- <!––>Look for any signs of intoeing or outtoeing
- <!––>Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
- <!––><!––>Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
- <!––>Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
- <!––>Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
- <!––>Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
- <!––>Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water, and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Princeton and West Windsor, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.