Foot Health In Toddlers And Infants
It is important for children to have strong, healthy feet because children with strong, healthy feet avoid many kinds of lower extremity problems later in life.
You should inspect your child’s feet periodically to make sure that everything is normal and if it is not, you should take your child to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Foot problems that are detected early are typically easier to treat.
In infants, the size and shape of the feet change quickly during the first year. It is important to let them stretch and kick their feet freely. Baby’s feet are very flexible and too much strain or pressure on them can affect the shape of their feet. Make sure they are not wearing shoes or socks that are too tight or squeeze the toes.
Once your toddler begins walking, watch their gait. Most toddlers walk with a pigeon-toed gait and that is normal. Others learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Both are common problems that most children outgrow.
Your child’s feet may turn in or out and they may need to sit in a different position while playing or watching television if they have mild in-toeing or out-toeing. If the in-toeing or out-toeing is more severe, your child may need be prescribed corrective shoes, a night brace, or splints.
Remember to check your child’s shoe size often and make sure they have enough room in their shoes. There should be a space between the toes and the end of the shoe and the toes should be able to move freely.
Avoid letting your child wear hand-me-down shoes and when you go to the shoe store to pick out shoes for your child, have both of your child’s feet measured for length and width. It is not uncommon for your left and right foot to be different sizes and the shoes should always be fitted to the largest foot.
If your child is suffering from foot or ankle pain and you would like to set up an appointment with our office, you can contact us at 615-220-8788 or at our toll-free number 888-713-0906. You can also request an appointment online.
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