Are you aware that a lot of the biomechanical deficiencies of the feet are inherited? If you have problems with your feet, then you should look at your children’s feet – because not all children are born with perfect feet.
Do your children have feet that look like yours? Do they walk like you? Do they toe in or toe out as they walk? Do they complain that their feet hurt a lot? Or do they want to be picked up a lot? Chances are they’ve inherited your foot problems.
An infant’s feet are soft and supple. Any abnormal stress and strain can cause the foot to deform. During a child’s first year, their feet grow rapidly, reaching almost half their adult foot size. As a child continues to grow, the bones, tendons and muscles of their feet are also growing. Typically, the growth plates in their feet don’t set until they reach their teenage years.
Some childhood foot problems may be visible when they’re born, while others may not appear until they start walking. Even though some children’s foot conditions may go away on their own, other conditions won’t get better unless they’re diagnosed and treated early on.
Three common children’s foot disorders include:
- Sever’s Disease – This is a common heel injury condition in growing active children. During growth spurts, the heel bone sometimes grows faster than the leg muscles and tendons, causing tension and tightness in a child’s foot. The heel can become more rigid, putting pressure on the growth plate. Since the Achilles tendon attaches to the growth plate in the heel, it can tighten. Over time, continual stress on the Achilles tendon can damage the growth plate, causing pain, swelling and tenderness. While this condition is not permanent, it does require diagnosis and treatment. Usually this condition can be prevented by wearing a children’s arch support, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole, and raising the child’s heel a little.
- Flat Feet – Although a baby’s feet may appear to be flat, by the time they’re 2 or 3 years old, their arches should have formed. Flat feet are usually caused by lax tendons and/or ligaments in the foot, which is usually inherited. This condition is often not painful in children unless the child is older or overweight. If you suspect your child has flat fee, you should have him/her evaluated by a doctor. Since this condition can lead to foot problems in adulthood, early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce later problems. Your child may need to wear children’s arch supports, like ezWalker® Performance Insoles, and supportive shoes to ensure the foot’s proper weight-bearing development for adulthood.
- Intoeing and Outtoeing – Intoeing is when a child walks with their feet pointing inward (called “pigeon-toed). Outtoeing is the opposite, the child’s feet point outward. While intoeing often goes away on its own as the child grows, outtoeing usually won’t correct itself since a child’s legs typically rotate outward as they grow. If these conditions persist, a child’s arch support, like the ezWalker® Performance Insole, is recommended. For severe cases, the child may need to see a pediatric orthopedic specialist for possible surgery.
Usually foot pain isn’t normal in children since the tissues in their feet are still flexible and resilient. However, if foot conditions run in your family and/or your child is complaining about foot pain, it’s best to have their feet examined by a certified professional.
If arch supports, like ezWalker® Performance Insoles, are recommended, they can help your child’s feet function more efficiently while improving posture and balance. Additionally, they’ll help to reduce the risk of foot injury if your child is active in sports.
Generally, custom foot orthotics are recommended for children 3 years and older. They should be replaced regularly as the child grows – usually every 6 months or as the child outgrows his/her shoes. Usually, children should continue to wear custom arch supports until the growth plates in their feet are set. Since girls mature faster, their growth plates tend to close around the ages of 14 and 15. Boys’ growth plates close later at ages 16 to 17.
If you suffer from foot conditions, your children don’t have to. So, guide their feet to become healthier feet for life with ezWalker® Performance Insoles.
For more information on children’s foot orthotics, contact the WalkEzStore.com.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.
Note: If foot conditions persist, you should take your child to see your doctor. This may indicate a more serious condition. Proper diagnosis and treatment may be required.