Our feet are like the foundations of a house; they’re what holds us up, and if they have problems the whole structure gets wobbly. It’s important to care for your feet as an adult, because they need to be maintained in good condition. It’s even more important to care for your children’s feet, though, because as they grow they’re vulnerable; a lack of proper care at a young age can cause a lot of problems later. Children’s feet take time to develop and need to be monitored at every stage.
If you notice that your child has any difficulties in walking properly it’s essential to see a doctor as soon as possible. Many common conditions that affect children’s’ feet can be sorted out quickly if they’re caught early enough, but if left alone might need surgery later. They might even cause your child problems for their whole life, and it’s a tragedy when that happens because simple action wasn’t taken early on.
All children are born with flat feet. As they grow an arch begins to form, usually developing by the age of about two or three. The arch is a key part of the foot’s shock absorbing structure, helping it take the stress of the 8,000-10,000 steps the average person takes every day. Occasionally it doesn’t develop, though. Some children (and adults) have no problems with this, but others may experience pain in their feet and lower legs. If you notice this get medical advice, but the doctor will probably recommend physiotherapy and Custom insoles Singapore. Depending on the individual child this may help the arch develop normally or can improve their posture and reduce discomfort.
Tarsal coalition is another problem that can affect children. Luckily it’s rare, but when it occurs it can be crippling. It’s caused by two or more of the tarsal bones, the longer bones in the middle part of the foot, failing to separate properly at birth. As a result there’s a “bridge” of bone joining them and reducing the foot’s natural flexibility. This bone bridge contains nerves; walking puts the bone under pressure, distorting it, and the nerves feel pain. The problem with a tarsal coalition is that in young children the bones are more flexible and they can often walk normally without feeling any discomfort; pain only appears when they get older and the bones harden, so the condition often doesn’t get noticed until a child is in their early teens. In severe cases surgery might be needed to correct it, but often orthotics can support the foot and relieve the pain.
Even if your child doesn’t show any specific problems with their feet there are things to keep in mind. Children now are very concerned with fashion, especially when they get to school age, and they’re going to want to have the right footwear to fit in with their friends. Unfortunately this isn’t always the footwear that’s best for their feet. Sneakers or running shoes are fashionable and great for doing sport, but they’re lightly built and don’t give the foot the support it needs for proper development. Some orthopedists are concerned that this can cause arthritis later in life. A solution is to let your child wear their favourite shoes but fit them with custom insoles to give proper support. This will avoid problems later.
If you’re choosing orthotics for your child it’s important to get the right fit. Insoles that aren’t properly shaped to the foot are useless, and sometimes actually harmful. The best solution is to have a pair custom made; that guarantees the best possible support to help your child develop properly. That used to mean ordering expensive ones from your doctor, but modern technology means you can order perfect ones online using only a smartphone or digital camera. These cost a fraction of the price, which means you can replace them every few months to give continued benefits as your child’s feet grow.