If you have been diagnosed with a common foot problem, your child may develop this same problem as they get older. Prevention is something we can do earlier on as researchers have found that giving corrective support to children can significantly improve mature foot development.
For children, feet can grow 1-3 sizes in less than a year. Finding the right shoe can not only be difficult but prove to be expensive as well. Just like in adults, shoes that are too tight or loose can cause hammertoes, ingrown toenails, bunions, calluses and corns. Shoes that have no support or fit improperly can eventually lead to problems in the ankles, knees, hips and even the back and neck.
Proper fitting shoes are the first piece of preventative measure you can take to ensure your child’s feet remain healthy. Some tips when picking out a pair of shoes for you child include:
- Have your child’s feet measured before deciding upon a size
- Remember that the width is just as important as the length of the shoe so not to squeeze the toes together and cause pain
- There should be a thumb width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe allowing for the toes to wiggle
- Make sure the heel does not slide out when they lace up and do a test walk around the store
- Avoid plastic shoes as these do not breathe well (allowing for odors and fungi to build), choose leather, canvas or other pliable, breathable materials if possible
- A breaking-in period should not be required for new shoes. If they hurt, don’t buy them.
My own kids wear supportive running shoes most of the time. But with the warmer weather, they are into supportive sandals that have a back strap. They actually prefer that! Crocs and flip flops are only worn at the beach or pool.