The bones of newborns remain very flexible and take a number of years to develop completely, which is why it’s so essential to follow the following guidelines for proper foot development and help avoid any potential problems down the road.
Some tips for proper foot development in children include the following:
- Wiggle room—Before your baby starts walking, make sure to provide ample opportunity for unimpeded movement of the feet, toes and legs.
- No tight socks—Never use tight fitting shoes or socks. It’s best to provide your baby with a lightweight, breathable cover to protect the feet.
- Bare feet indoors—Allow your baby to be barefoot often while indoors. This helps your baby strengthen his or her feet and toes for the eventual weight bearing of walking. Once they start walking, bare feet or socks indoors will also be beneficial to proper development.
- Emotional growth—It’s important not to try to force your child to walk before he or she is ready to do so by themselves, when they are physically and emotionally prepared.
- New shoes—Your child’s feet will be growing rapidly during the first several years and he or she will need to be fitted with new shoes every few months or so.
- Foot inspections—Check your child’s feet regular for any abnormalities or injuries and be certain to see a podiatrist if you notice any problems.
Conditions such as flat feet and in/out toeing are very common in children, but if they become persistent, affect only one leg, or appear to be getting worse, then you will need to have a consultation with your foot care professional. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.