The foot is a complex structure made up of 26 bones and 35 joints, which are held together and supported by the ligaments. A baby’s foot is padded with fat and highly flexible.
Most children start running between the ages of 8 and 18 months. Most toddlers are flat-footed, though her to walk for the first time, or tend to turn their feet inward because muscle strength and ligament stiffness need to keep up with other developments. Inflatability almost always improves as the bones develop and the feet strengthen.
Always consult your podiatrist or doctor if you are concerned about your child’s feet or the way it works (his gear), to care.
Children and wearing shoes
A child who learns to walk receives important sensory information from the soles of the feet that touch the ground. Shoes help protect your feet from injury, heat, and cold.
When toddlers learn to walk, they should be barefoot as much as possible or with a soft soled shoe such as that Lurchi children’s shoes so that they can feel what they can touch with their feet and develop muscle strength. If toddlers run confidently for a while, they can switch to a firmer soled shoe: have your child’s shoes professionally adjusted, which should include measuring each foot’s length and width. Children’s feet grow very quickly and your Shoe size may need to be updated every few months. Shoes that are too tight can hinder your child’s walking and cause problems, such as ingrown toenails.
Suggestions for children’s shoes
Shoes for your toddler should ideally have:
- a comfortable fit in length and width
- plenty of toe space
- a flexible, flat sole – check if the sole can bend near the toe
- the front of the shoe is wider than the heel to match the natural shape of the foot
- a solid heel counter (part that goes around the back of the heel)
- Laces, straps or closures to prevent too much movement or slipping of the foot in the shoe.
Expensive shoes are not always better. Children grow out of their shoes very quickly.
Flat feet in children
The sole of a normally developed foot has an arch, the so-called medial arch, which is formed from bones, muscles and ligaments. In the first two years, your child’s feet will look flatter than those of an adult.
Flat feet in babies and toddlers are normal. Children’s feet are usually flexible and should not be stiff.
If your child masters walking, the ligaments and muscles are strengthened and the fat pads in the arch area are not as clear. By the age of around six, your child should have normal arches on both feet.
If your child has a foot pain or their feet make it difficult for them to keep up with their peers, you should see a podiatrist.
Feet that turn inwards
Many toddlers walk with "pigeon toes", with either one or both feet turned in (to-toing). The tips of the toes can come from the foot, lower leg (shin) or thigh (thigh bone).
Very occasionally, small children walk with their feet facing outwards (out-toeing)
Symptoms of foot problems in children
See your doctor or podiatrist if you are concerned about your child’s feet or gait. Problematic symptoms can include:
- abnormally shaped toes
- ingrown toenails (which persist or are painful)
- Tufts or other deformations
- Stiffness of the foot
- the child complains of pain when walking or prefers one leg over another when walking.
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