Children aren’t always as vocal as adults are when it comes to complaining about aches and pains. However, their feet are often a major source of pain. This can be due to growth, which is normal, but also as a result of old or poorly fitting shoes. The good news is that many pediatric foot problems can be avoided by choosing the right footwear for your kids. Read the following pediatric podiatry tips to find out what you can do to help your kids avoid foot and ankle pain.
Focus on the right fit.
Your children’s feet are most likely still growing, especially if they’re younger. But this doesn’t mean that you should buy over-sized shoes, even if you know that they will grow into them in a few months. Shoes that are too big will cause your child’s foot to slide forward and will put unnecessary pressure on the toes.
On the other hand, shoes that are too tight can also cause problems. For example, your child may develop blisters, calluses or ingrown nails, which can be extremely painful. If you see that your child is exhibiting signs of any of these conditions, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.
How can you tell if the shoe is a good fit? A good rule of thumb is to buy shoes that leave about half an inch of space from the tip of the toe to the tip of the shoe. When that gap starts to close, you know it’s time for a new pair of shoes.
Avoid passing down old shoes.
Children with older siblings often get hand-me-downs. After all, what’s the harm in passing down shoes if they’re still in good condition? One of the biggest problems when it comes to shoes that have previously been worn is that they lose their cushioning and shock absorption over time.
Worn-out shoes can lead to all types of body aches. For example, your child may complain about soreness in the knees or feet, especially early in the morning. To avoid pediatric foot problems caused by older shoes, be sure to check that they still have good arch support and that the soles aren’t too worn out.
Look for signs that something’s wrong.
As is always the case when it comes to your child’s health, watch for signs of soreness or discomfort. A good indication that something is wrong is if your child is constantly taking off his or her shoes. Consult a podiatrist to determine whether there may be a problem with your child’s feet, or if a different type of shoe can fix it.