By now, you’ve probably experienced the back-to-school rush. There are many items to remember on the back-to-school list. Summer can go by quickly, and the next thing you know, you’re sending them off to their first day of school. With everything to consider, have you also given consideration to your child’s feet and shoes before the start of the school year?
Children can grow very quickly in height and shoe size. In fact, during childhood, children’s feet go through the majority of their developmental stages, from baby feet to teen feet. Of course, if you’re a parent, you already know this – with all the shoes your child seems to grow out of so quickly, your budget may be feeling the pinch. There is plenty of room for things to go wrong with so much growing and stretching. As you watch your child grow, don’t forget to keep an eye on their growing feet – untreated foot problems in childhood can lead to chronic pain and even deformity in adulthood.
We’re sure you’ve thought about it, but knowing what to look for can help you avoid future discomfort (possibly even having to buy a new pair of shoes).
Keep the following tips in mind during your Back-to-School Check:
- What is the shape of your children’s feet?
It’s never a bad idea to check your child’s feet to see if anything needs to be looked at before heading to the shoe store. Look for sores, spots, or other imperfections on the skin’s surface.
Additionally, keep an eye out for any indications of irregular gait or other issues with locomotion. Does your kid express discomfort in their heels, ankles, or feet? Do they appear to be limping or favouring one side? Do their favourite active sports and games end earlier than they used to? All of these are indicators of a potential problem.
Flat feet in children are also fairly common, but they tend to fade as their arches develop. If your child is over five and you still notice flat feet when they stand or rise on their toes, visit your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist.
Flat feet should be checked on a regular basis as your child grows. If it shows signs of becoming a problem, it can be dealt with quickly before things worsen.
- Choosing the Best Shoes for Your Child’s Feet.
You’re probably aware that children’s feet grow quickly, especially when they’re young. However, even after the age of three, a child’s feet can grow half a shoe size every 4-6 months.
Back-to-school season is an excellent time to get the most recent information on your child’s current size. The best method is to get a professional fitting at a shoe store from a trained Pedorthist. Additionally, bear the following in mind when considering shoes:
- Don’t cram the toes. The toe box should have enough space for the toes to move about without discomfort. The distance between the front of the shoe and the tip of the longest toe should be roughly half an inch or the breadth of one of your fingers. Additionally, the shoe’s front should be wider than its heel.
At least a few times every month, you should check the fit of your child’s shoes. Not sure how to tell if your child’s shoes should be retired? Here are some steps you can take to find out:
- Check the sides for any indications of bending or protrusion. The shoes may be overly thin if these are present.
- Keep an eye out for any foot swelling symptoms, as ill-fitting shoes can irritate or cause swelling of the foot.
Does your youngster suddenly stop participating in their favourite physical activities or appear to frequently slip or fall over their feet? It might be brought on by their shoes.
If your child is particularly active or plays sports, it is vital to have them fitted with the appropriate orthotics as soon as possible. Orthotics can aid with gait and mobility issues. Furthermore, discomfort or degenerative changes in the spine, hips, and knees may begin earlier in active youngsters than in sedentary children.
If you are experiencing foot problems and require assistance, contact your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist. They will educate you on pediatric orthotics and provide support as needed. You can find one at https://www.pedorthic.ca/.
Reza Sands, C. Ped (C)