In the beginning stages of childhood foot development, parents should be very attentive to the progress of the feet and ankles and to help foster an environment for normal and healthy growth. These things are vital for avoiding future complications with balance and motion.
Some important tips to keep in mind when caring for children’s feet include the following:
- Check for in-toeing or out-toeing tendencies—Kids have a tendency to experience in-toeing or out-toeing during the process of becoming familiar with their feet. If this tendency doesn’t subside after a few months, you should have your child’s feet checked by a foot specialist to see if intervention is required.
- Let your kids move freely—Young kids need to have plenty of room for their feet to move to ensure proper development. You should avoid the use of booties or shoes until the child is starting to take steps. Allowing your child to go barefoot whenever possible even after learning to walk will help improve the grip strength of toes and foster a better sense of balance.
- Avoid helping excessively—Your kids will develop faster without too many helping hands getting in the way. Developing the proper strength and balance on their own is the best way to gain experience and confidence.
- Don’t use hand-me-down shoes—Keep in mind that everyone’s feet are different and that your child should be properly fitted with new shoes on a regular basis.
If you are concerned about a possible problem with your child’s feet or ankles, we highly recommend that you consult our board-certified podiatrists Andrew Shapiro, DPM and Michael Barkin, DPM. With access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, we can assist you with heel pain, ankle sprains, diabetic foot care, toe deformities, nail fungus, and skin problems, among many other conditions. Our practice is conveniently located on West Merrick Road in Valley Stream to accommodate all of your foot care needs. Call (516) 825-3860 or book an appointment online today!