Does Your Child Have Flat Feet? Flat Feet In Children
The key to preventing future problems related to flat feet in children is early diagnosis. Having your children’s feet checked if you suspect an issue can greatly improve their functionality as they grow. Many parents bring their children in for assessments for flat feet. Flat feet in children is quite common. Many parents will begin to notice a flat foot as soon as their babes start to walk. In fact, pediatric flat foot can even develop years after one learns to walk.
The key to preventing future problems related to flat feet in children is early diagnosis.
Pediatric flat foot is a condition where the arch along the inside of the foot has either partially or fully collapsed. In more severe cases the arch will rest directly on the ground. You may also notice an outward tilt of the heel when your child is standing or even observe your child walking with their toes pointed out like a penguin. As painful as this can sound, not all children with pediatric flat foot will complain of any discomfort at all. In some children, this condition is asymptomatic. Those that do experience pain will often complain about pains in their feet, knees, or legs. They may experience cramping or difficulty walking. You may notice some changes to the way your child walks. Some children have a difficult time participating in physical activities. They may withdrawal early from an activity or have reduced energy when they do participate. Some kids even have difficulty in their shoes.
Those that do experience pain will often complain about pains in their feet, knees, or legs.
In order for your child to be assessed, your Chiropodist or Podiatrist will examine the structure of the feet. They will look at the way the bones are aligned and will note the range of motion about the feet. They will observe the shape of your child’s foot while they are both sitting and standing. Your child should also be observed while walking in order to see how the foot functions in motion.
Depending on the severity of the flat feet will depend on the treatment suggested. The bones of a child’s foot are still growing and developing throughout adolescence, and until they age of 7 the positions of the bones are still changing from the position in utero. For this reason, if your child is younger than 7, and depending on the severity of the case, regular observation may be recommended. Your foot specialist may recommend some changes to the shoes for these early years. We make sure the shoe is as supportive as possible, controlling excessive motions while not impeding the natural development of the foot’s structure.
The orthotic will support the feet in the proper position while the child is growing and changing.
If your child is 7 or older, custom orthotics are likely to be the treatment of choice. Orthotics are devices that go into shoes and help to correct any biomechanical misalignments. Simply speaking, they help to correct the shape of the feet. The orthotic will support the feet in the proper position while the child is growing and changing. Much like prescription eye wear, orthotics will need to be changed as the child grows. It is recommended that pediatric orthotic devices are renewed once a year or every two shoe sizes; whichever comes first. Over time you are likely to see improvement in the structure to the foot. Your child will probably always have a flatter shaped foot, though orthotics will allow the foot to function better and improve their quality of life.
Read this great article on Baby and Toddler Shoes for Girls and Boys.