Children Footcare – Building Healthy Foot Foundations
Article by Dorcas Sholanke
About the Author – Dorcas is a Senior Podiatrist practicing in Singapore. Dorcas is well practiced in the management of musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and ankle and has worked with many of Singapore’s most prominent Orthopedic and Sports Physicians.
Our children are precious. As new born babies, we marvel at their tiny toes. At this stage, their feet are soft and pliable. As your little ones grow, their feet will change and develop. This is an exciting time of new discoveries, however parents may be unsure if the changes that they are seeing are normal or if there is cause for concern. Many also wonder if their children’s feet should be developing faster.
When our children start to walk, that is the time our attention is drawn to their feet. Before they get to this stage, it is a good idea to dress them in booties. This will protect the feet and will get your baby accustomed to the feeling of covered feet. Some research has shown that putting your baby in a walker may result in a delay in activities such as crawling or normal walking. In fact, in Canada the use of baby walkers is banned. Baby grows and sleep-suits should be long enough and socks should not be too tight as they may restrict movement. Once your child starts walking it is important that their footwear is fitted by trained shoe fitter.
You are setting the footwear habits of a lifetime so here are some tips to help you along the way.
1) Shoes should have a firm sole and a wide toe box.
2) In hot weather the use of sandals are acceptable as long as there is a firm back and a Velcro strap. Jelly shoes, ballet flats, platform sneakers may be appealing but these may cause foot problems due to poor fit and lack of good arch support.
3) When it comes to sports, footwear is very important. Always match the footwear to the sport and to your child’s foot type. It’s a minefield out there so if you are feeling lost, a podiatrist can help with foot type assessment and footwear advice.
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