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Flat Feet in Children – Parents are you concerned about your children’s feet?

Flat Feet in Children – Parents are you concerned about your children’s feet?

Flat Feet in Children – Information for worried parents!

 

Have you ever heard the expression “doctors differ and patients die” (not literally OK!) – well that seems apt when we research on how best to treat children with Flat Feet!

There are 2 trains of thought amongst the experts:

  • Arch Supports help to minimise damage caused by over flexible feet in kids over 8 years old.
  • Arch Supports have no long lasting effect on children suffering from flat feet.

Where all doctors/experts appear to agree is that with children up to age 7-8 arch supports or shoes with arch supports are not needed because normal development of the feet, in most cases, can eliminate the Flat Foot by this age. From 8 years old upwards Arch Supports can help, especially with the “Flexible Flat Foot”. There are 2 types of Flat Feet in children:

The Flexible Flat Foot

is easily recognisable because the child will have no pain in the feet. More than likely the feet will have increased pronation/supination movement (easy to manipulate the forefoot inwards or outwards). Possibly he/she may look knock kneed or pigeon toed.

The Rigid/Stiff Flat Foot

is a different thing altogether. The foot will be stiff, the child may have pain in his/her feet, he/she may have recurrent ankle sprains,problems/pain in the feet can limit the child’s activities. There will be decreased pronation/supination movement (not easy to manipulate the forefoot inwards or outwards).  More often than not medical intervention is required so it is best to seek medical advice.

The normal development of children’s feet

 

A lot of parents worry about their children’s “Flat Feet”. To help put your minds at rest, let’s look at the normal development of children’s feet.

  • Newborn babies have no arches in their feet
  • 4-5 year olds start to develop arches
  • 8-10 year olds have normal arches

 

It is important to understand that normal toddlers (2-3 year olds) have flat feet. Have a look at the image below and see the normal development of children’s feet.

 

It is important to understand that normal toddlers (2-3 year olds) have flat feet. Have a look at the image below and see the normal development of children’s feet.

In the majority of cases the flat feet, knock knees and pigeon toes will disappear as the toddler grows and develops normal arches. However, in some cases (especially where the flat feet are inherited) the problems can persist beyond 8-9 years old.

Always listen to your children – if they tell you they have pain in their feet then it is time to act. Sometimes parents don’t act because they are told “they will grow out of it”.

Now – Let’s have a look at the type of shoes best suited to children with Flat Feet

 

 Parents, please remember that shoes are “protective” and not “corrective”!

What to look for in a shoe:

  • It is soft and comfortable
  • No high heels
  • Avoid tight shoes
  • It has cushioned soles
  • It should be large enough not to cramp the foot
  • There should be room enough to allow growth
  • It should be made from a breathable material (such as leather)
  • Avoid odd shaped shoes

If your child complains of pain in his/her feet, or if indeed you as parents are worried about his/her feet then call into your nearest Foot Solutions store and we will do a quick FREE foot assessment and make our recommendations from there.

Visit our website or contact us to make an appointment.