Flat Feet in Children and Why You Shouldn’t Worry
Flat feet in children under the age of 5, is a common occurrence and this causes concern in parents. Although it is important to note once they turn about 5 either some arches as the ‘baby pudge’ goes away or it doesn’t. When parents find ways to help kids feet to grow an arch it doesn’t grow in a natural way, therefore leading to issues such as foot pain, frequent tripping, and sometimes difficulty walking. So here’s just a few reasons you shouldn’t worry if your kids have flat feet.
A Little Bit About Feet
The foot has four main parts to it: The arch, the heel, the toes, and the ball of the foot. When a child is growing their arch is in a horizontal position and doesn’t develop correctly because it doesn’t have a bulbous base that’s proportionately proportionate to the rest of their foot. This prevents the arch from growing properly and leads to the flat footed look. The evolution of an arch is essentially the shape of the heel to toe ratio. Humans evolved from flat feet but due to things such as wearing shoes for the first time and due to changes in environment such as being on a hard surface more so the foot bones started to angle downwards and this is what led to the flat footed feet. It is not as straight in shape as you may think and this is what causes problems in children.
What causes flat feet?
Children who have flat feet can be caused by shoes that are too narrow, are too tight, too high, and not worn correctly. Some types of footwear make it harder for the foot to move as the arch fails to form correctly. Also it’s important to note flat feet is a normal occurrence up until the age of 5. As children’s feet grow and the baby fat starts to dissipate arches usually start to form. A good way to ensure a child’s arches will properly form is to use stretching exercise. If you are very concerned you can buy arch supports or find ones that are custom made.
Why you shouldn’t worry about your Child’s Flat Feet
Flat feet aren’t a sign of poor growth as long as they have a good total gait they are fine. In addition, it doesn’t mean that their pediatrician should not be keeping an eye on their feet. This will determine what needs to be done in this situation. So just focus on preventing them from tripping and falling. Flat feet are a normal condition. Yet if you notice your child is crawling and not able to get up on their tiptoes and heel then they are far more likely to have flat feet and very likely to grow out of it. So your child needs to understand that crawling is a movement, not just standing and walking, and they must work on both.
What can you do to help?
Many arches are genetically determined, this means it’s determined from the first month the child is born. For a long time parents were advised not to try to correct flat footed children with shoe orthotics because they have to have a perfectly straightened foot to be able to help their child. This was based on the fact that orthotics were just too complicated and didn’t work for all kids. When looking at the entire body and including other factors such as movement it was found that there were in fact some kids who were ‘darn near’ naturally flat footed. So it was a matter of helping the child’s foot align by correcting their other foot pronation. This method works, but you need to remember that you must be consistent, and not always changing the shoe style when they turn 5.
Things You Should Note
So if your child has flat feet, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. As long as they grow an arch and take care of their feet they should grow out of it without any problems. Don’t believe the myths that are there, because those few types of problems do lead to health issues, however if everything is fine your child will have an arch as they grow, and they should both be good with it. This is how you ensure that they have their feet growing correctly as they go through life. You can find out more about flat feet, how to stop them, and the best way to deal with them here. Contact Associated Foot and Ankle Care for any and all your feet needs.