Keeping your Toddler’s Feet Healthy
Your child grows and changes almost daily, and it can feel overwhelming to keep up! The health of children’s bodies – from their head down to their feet – is all equally important. Here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, we’re working to take some of the guess work and stress away from caring for your child’s feet.
If you keep these following tips in mind, it will help steer them in the direction of good future foot health:
- Keep them free. Just like everything else, kids’ feet change rapidly in their first year. Give them room to stretch and kick their feet without restriction. Keep tight socks and shoes off of their feet to avoid damaging it while it forms.
- Let them go at their own pace. Allow them to walk on their feet when they are ready. Forcing premature walking on a toddler can cause them to damage or injure their feet.
- Choose the right shoes. Once they are walking make sure they have well-fitting shoes. The best shoes for kids have a flexible sole and a snug-fitting heel cup. Check to make sure there’s a thumb space width from the front of the longest toe to the front of the shoe, in order to accommodate growth. Choose shoes made from canvas or natural material, rather than plastic to allow the shoe to flex with your child’s foot.
- Check often. Get in the habit of checking their shoe sizes frequently as growth spurts develop suddenly.
- Watch closely. It is normal for toddlers to stumble and have an odd gait as they learn to walk, but be on the lookout for irregularities in your kids’ feet. Things such as in-toeing or out-toeing, flatfoot, or any pain should be addressed with a pediatric podiatrist.
It’s important to catch issues in children’s feet early to prevent future complications. At Westfield Food and Ankle, Dr. David R. Sullivan can help assess your child’s feet and help you set them on the right path to a lifetime of healthy feet. To make an appointment for your child today, call our conveniently located clinic in Westfield at 317-896-6655.