One of the most important things you can do for your child’s health is to make sure their shoes fit properly. This may seem an obvious thing but did you know that on average children’s feet grow two sizes per year up to about the age of four and then approximately one size per until their growth is complete.
As a parent you will know that there can be longer periods when there is no obvious sign of growth and then suddenly a growth spurt when arms and legs are sticking out of jumpers and jeans and their toes are rammed up against the end of their shoes.
The best place to get children’s feet measured is a reputable shoe shop where the staff are properly trained – remember it’s not just the length of the shoe but the width as well.
Of course it’s not just school shoes that need to fit but trainers, football boots, ballet shoes and any other specialist shoes that your child may need for sport or leisure.
Always listen to your children if they complain of painful feet and if you notice their gait is awkward take them to a podiatrist to get checked out who will carry out a thorough examination and ensure their posture is correct.
Here are some tips for keeping an eye on your child’s foot health:
Skin: look for areas of redness and rashes particularly between the toes, in the arches and below the ankle bones indicating athlete’s foot, particularly if they are itchy (always allow shoes shoe to dry out, as children’s feet can be sweaty. Wearing damp shoes all the time can make the child more prone to athlete’s foot and verrucae).
Look for red marks and/or blisters at the back of the heel and on the tops of the small joints of the toes indicating ill-fitting shoes. Raised and painful hard masses on the soles of the feet may indicate a verruca.
Nails : any inflammation around the nails should be taken seriously as it may indicate infection. Any discolouration of the toenails should be checked by your podiatrist.
Deformities: Toes should always be straight in line with the foot and not drawn back or curled. The fifth toe may tuck under the fourth slightly and the fourth under the third toe but the big toe should also be straight.
Posture: If the feet appear to be excessively turned in or out or the arch looks very flat, particularly if the child complains of pain, the advice of your registered podiatrist should be sought.Share