Posts for category: Children's Foot Care
It’s time for back to school shopping, and at Connecticut Foot Care Centers we believe that one of the most important items on your list should be your child’s shoes. Well-made shoes that fit properly can prevent common foot injuries like ankle sprains and help keep your child’s feet healthy. Here’s a “cheat sheet” to help you score high marks on the shoe shopping test.
Study Up—be prepared for your shopping excursion. If your child is experiencing any foot discomfort, has a chronic podiatric condition (like Sever’s disease or overpronation) or recently sustained a foot injury, it’s best to get a checkup with one of our podiatrists Jeffrey S. Kahn, D.P.M., Craig M. Kaufman, D.P.M., Ayman M. Latif, D.P.M. or Raffaella R. Pascarella, D.P.M. The foot doctor will assess the current condition of your child’s lower extremities and may suggest particular styles or features that will be safest and most comfortable.
Come Prepared—bring the type of socks that your child will wear with their new shoes to the store. Oftentimes the socks the store provides are thin and the shoe may appear roomier than it will be with the actual socks. Allow enough time to get your child’s foot professionally measured and then to try on several pairs of shoes to find the best ones. Make sure your child spends time walking around the store wearing both shoes before finalizing the sale. New shoes should feel comfortable from the moment you leave the store—no “breaking in” period should be necessary.
Know the Material—shoes should be made of natural materials that allow the foot to breathe. Be aware of the features of quality shoes:
- Roomy toe boxes (there should be about ½ an inch or a thumb’s width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe)
- Firm heel counter
- Padded insole or foot bed for shock absorption
- Non-slip tread
Don’t Lose Points—don’t hand shoes down to younger siblings. Each shoe wears according to the unique foot structure and gait of its wearer. Passing them on can lead to discomfort and foot problems.
When you’re a new parent, it can be tempting to dress your tiny baby in the most adorable infant-sized versions of adult sneakers or shoes. The experts say putting shoes on an infant could be bad for development, though. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants only start wearing shoes after they begin walking. Babies could have a pretty tough time taking their first steps in inflexible shoes with potentially slippery soles.
Why keep babies barefoot?
Barefoot walking is the healthiest option for feet that are still forming. Babies’ ligaments and muscles are still developing, and their arches are trying to strengthen up. Babies’ foot bones start as soft, very flexible cartilage that gradually turn to bone. Therefore, their feet only need covering for warmth and protection. Both of these needs can be met with cotton socks. Make sure socks aren’t too snug or too loose for baby’s feet!
Infants learning to walk also love the feeling of their bare feet connecting to the ground. Walking barefoot keeps them in tune with the surface they’re walking on and can contribute to good posture.
How to choose the first shoes for baby
Once your baby does begin walking, it is a great time to invest in a sturdy shoe that offers solid protection. Here are some recommendations:
- Visit a shoe store that is reputable and specializes in kids’ shoes.
- Have both feet measured. Toddlers’ feet grow about 2 sizes every year until they’re 4, so measure them every 6 to 8 weeks.
- Leave plenty of room in the toe area – enough to fit your pinkie finger between the shoe’s lip and the end of the toes. Make sure the toes lay flat in the shoe and aren’t bunched up.
- Check for brands that offer half sizes and varying widths to get a proper fit. If the heel slips, it could be dangerous.
- Choose flexible, lightweight, and breathable materials that still offer support and protection, like canvas.
We also recommend you avoid hand-me-down shoes for your child’s growing feet. It’s great to reuse and recycle; however, you might also be recycling shoes that have molded themselves to a previous child’s feet. It’s best to buy shoes that fit your growing child’s individual feet
If you notice anything off with your babies’ feet as they start to walk, it’s time to call us. Our team of foot doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers is equipped with a wealth of knowledge and resources in caring for feet of any age. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff has unparalleled experience and can help you at any of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices. Request an appointment today!
Parenting seems to come with an endless list of things to worry about! Each stage of growth seems to add a whole new set of items to the late-night “is this normal?” Google sessions that every parent does. One common area of parental worry, centered around the standing, cruising, and walking stages, is flat feet.
Some parents worry that their children’s feet are not leveling out properly and seem to appear flat. This isn’t always a cause for alarm as the arches in our feet take time to develop. Feet are considered fully developed at the age of 8. It’s natural to worry though, so here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers, we wanted to give you a few things to look for.
If you see the following issues, you might need to be concerned about your child’s flat feet:
Affected walking pattern. The way we walk, or our gait, is biomechanically specific to each of us. Children with flat feet tend to roll their foot inward excessively. This excessive in-rolling is called overpronation.
Fatigue in walking. It’s normal for most kids to want to be picked up and carried from place to place, but if your child has flat feet and seems to get very tired after walking, it could be a sign of discomfort.
Pain. If your child has pain in their heel, arch, or anywhere else in their foot or ankle, it is definitely time to bring them in to see a podiatrist. Even pain in the lower back or hips can be a sign of a greater issue in their feet.
If your son or daughter is experiencing pain or discomfort due to flatfoot, make an appointment to see one of our doctors here at Connecticut Foot Care Centers. Treatment options often range from cutting down on certain activities, losing weight, starting physical therapy, orthotic devices, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Click here to schedule an appointment or call one of our six conveniently located Connecticut offices today!