Normally, the foot has an arch. Children are said to have
flat feet if this arch is not evident. However, infants normally
have a pad of fat that hides the arch. Additionally, young
children’s feet have very flexible bones and joints. So the
feet of such children flatten when they stand, even though you
can see the arch if you lift them on their toes.
Many children are given special shoes for ‘flat feet’. Most
such children have normal feet that look apparently flat during
infancy and the preschool age. If doubt about this condition
persists after 3 years, do see an orthopaedic surgeon.
In the case of a rigid foot, which cannot be moved up
and down or side to side at the ankle or in the presence of
a really tight Achilles tendon, your doctor may like to show the
child to an orthopaedic surgeon.
Toeing-In and Club Foot
If the feet of a child are turned inwards but have
normal movement at the ankle joints, they need no treatment. It
may be due to a particular position of the baby while he was
in the mother’s womb. This condition returns to normal by
about 6 months of age. If the toeing-in persists or if it
appears rigid, the child may have a condition called ‘club foot’
(congenital talipes equinovarus). This may need an orthopaedic
opinion. Such children need repeated plastering. Sometimes,
surgery is also indicated.
Although shoes are a necessary evil in the urban world,
it is an accepted fact that people who remain barefoot have stronger and more flexible feet compared to those who
wear shoes. They also have fewer problems with their feet. So allow your child the joy of walking and
on safe ground as much as possible.
When you must buy shoes, do not go for fancy, expensive ones. Shoes are only meant to
protect your small child
from injury and cold. Of course, as he grows older, your
child will like to have a smart pair of shoes. Buy him smart ones,
but make sure that they are comfortable. Buy shoes later in
the day when the feet are likely to be a little heavier than
in the morning. The shoe should be a little larger than the
exact size of your child’s foot. Keep a margin of about 2 centimetres, but
make sure that the shoe does not come off as the child
runs or walks. Shoes that have become tight should no longer be used. Shoes should be flat and
flexible. For teenagers, cushioned soles may be preferred. Avoid high heels as
far as possible. Wide shoes are better than pointed ones. Leather or canvas shoes without plastic
good for your child’s feet.
7 March, 2016