Children’s Services – flat feet children development and orthotics or insoles
Adult healthy feet have 26 bones, but at birth a babies foot has 45 peices of soft cartilage. During childhood, these bones begin to harden (or ossify) then fuse together and are not fully developed until about the age of 18. It is very important during these early years to look after children’s developing feet as they are very sensitive to pressure. Footwear must fit correctly as the foot can easily adopt the shape of a shoe that doesn’t fit properly which can then prevent the foot from developing naturally. Baby grows (with feet) can also cause developmental problems with tiny feet.
Some of the most common foot complaints in children are:
- Curly Toes
- Tip – toe walking
- Flat Feet
- Painful heels
Children are assessed with their parents present and advice is given by your podiatrist on the appropriate management for the condition. T-shirt and shorts are useful to aid assessment as well as a selection of their daily, sport and recreational shoes.
Please remember that every child is different and will grow at different rates and genetic tendencies can be difficult to halt – orthoses will protect and support in these cases.
Correct footwear in terms of fitting and style is very important for children. Laces (that are done up peroperly and undone to remove the sues) as well as straps and velcro are important. A supportive shoe can make all the difference. A slip on or loose or worn shoe can also cause damage.
Sometimes orthotics (shoe inserts) may be necessary to manage how the foot relates to the ground and ensure structural safety. They go in supportive shoes and act to support or cushion the foot on impact.
At A&A Podiatrists we provide assessment for flat feet, hypermobility and foot pain in children, as well as a foot health review to check all is ok. We can review and advise on existing orthotics as well as the most suitable and cost effective foot orthotic for your child.
We also provide a dual clinic with our physiotherapist Naomi Burns to enable a more comprehensive study of the foot and entire system. This would include scoring for hypermobility, as well as assessment of muscle power, flexibility and strengthening possibilities.