The Merrion Foot Clinic frequently advises parents who are concerned about the development of their children’s feet to contact a podiatrist for a foot assessment. We all want the best for our children and looking after their feet is no exception. Your child’s feet are of major importance in all their actions, and any problems are best detected early to prevent more serious foot complications later in life. Seeing a children’s podiatrist may be recommended, but there are also things that you can do to encourage your child’s foot health and development throughout their early life.
Here are some tips for different life stages, from the team at the Merrion Foot Clinic
It’s best to keep your baby’s feet unconstrained to give your baby the best opportunity to kick freely, and to encourage development of muscles in the legs and feet. Your baby’s clothing should always be kept loose around their feet. It’s also a good idea to let your baby go barefoot as much as possible, as babies learn to gain control and use of their feet through feeling. Massaging your baby’s feet is another a great activity at this age.
When your child starts walking (usually between 10 and 24 months of age), allow them to go barefoot or to just wear socks as much as possible. This will help improve sensation in their feet, encourage grasping action of their toes, and promote normal foot growth. You may notice variations in the walking styles of toddlers. In many cases, children who walk with their feet pointed inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing) will outgrow these walking styles. However unusual walking patterns may persist and if you have any concerns it is recommended that you take your child to see a podiatrist. Tip-toe walking (where a child walks on their toes) is not a normal variation and if you notice this walking pattern in your child, review by a podiatrist should be arranged.
Some children present with deformities and lesions such as verrucae, which can also be treated at the clinic.