How to Care for Your Children’s Feet
It is important to check your child's feet periodically. Their feet are growing and changing all the time and many foot problems and conditions can be treated more easily if they are caught early on.
Caring for Infant's Feet
The size and shape of your baby's feet change quickly during their first year. You need to be careful with your baby's feet. Their feet are flexible and too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet. Make sure their shoes or socks do not squeeze the feet or toes and that they fit properly. It's important to allow babies to kick and stretch their feet freely.
Caring for a Toddler's Feet
You may be worried if your toddler doesn't start walking right away, but you shouldn't force a toddler to walk before the child is ready. Watch your toddler's gait once they do begin to walk. A pigeon-toe gait is fairly common for a toddler, so if your toddler has a pigeon-toe gait, don't worry too much. It is normal. Some toddlers initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels, but most children outgrow both these problems. However, other conditions may occur in your toddler's feet and conditions that are detected early can be treated more easily, so do watch for signs of problems.
When Foot Care Is Needed for Children
Special shoes or orthotics may be necessary for children suffering from flat feet. If your child has mild in-toeing or out-toeing, he/she might need to try sitting in a another position during play or while watching television to help correct the problem. If your child's feet turn in or out a lot, you should see a doctor. Your podiatrist may also recommend corrective shoes, splints, or night braces.
The foot's bone structure is well-formed by the time your child reaches age of seven or eight, but if a growth plate, which is the area where bone growth starts, is injured, the damaged plate could cause the bone to grow abnormally. With the supervision and care of a doctor, however, the risk of future bone issues is lessened.
Check your child's shoe size periodically as well. The shoes need to have space between the toes and the shoe's tip. They should allow room for the toes to move freely. You shouldn't allow your child to wear hand-me-down shoes.