Parents worry about a lot of things when it comes to their kids, but one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about is their feet.
There is a tendency to become concerned by the appearance of flat feet, but never fear, all kids have a degree of flat feet, sometimes until they are nine years old.
There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, their little nerves and muscles are still learning to work together to support the arch, and store and release energy more efficiently upon contacting the ground. In toddlers, there remains a little pad of fat that will take some time to disappear. Feet being turned out more in early life can also accentuate the appearance.
Gradually, these causes will decrease over time and the arch will develop.
Kids feet and ankle joints are much more flexible than in adults. In early childhood, the best thing parents can do is keep their kids barefoot. When this isn’t possible, kids should be as close to barefoot as possible. Treddies were developed for this exact purpose.
Parents should encourage activities that involve balancing, climbing, hopping and running to help the supporting muscles of the foot and ankle develop, to produce strong and efficient lower limbs.
Of course, if you notice there is pain or inhibited function, such as your child not being able to run, jump or hop like the other kids, your little one may be suffering from symptomatic flat feet. In this case, a health professional should be consulted. The most likely solution being a specific exercise program to get their little tootsies back on track.
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