Foot health is important in all walks of life. There is really no understating just how essential healthy feet are when it comes to quality of life. Without happy and healthy feet, we are severely limited in where we can go and the activities that we can do.
When it comes to children, this is even more essential! Children’s feet are constantly growing and changing, so it's vital that their shoes always fit properly.
Without properly fitting shoes’, a child’s foot may not develop fully, which can then cause more serious foot problems later on in life.
Why is children's foot health important?
Proper children's foot health is vital as healthy feet during childhood lessens the risk of medical problems occurring later in life, especially in the feet, ankles, back and legs.
Keeping our children's feet healthy and well cared for as they grow and develop will help set them on a path to a healthy and active lifestyle.
Some of the most important reasons for taking proper care of your children’s feet include:
This includes; proper alignment, muscle development, and overall foot strength. Wearing shoes that fit properly and provide the right amount of support is key to ensuring our children's feet develop correctly!
Prevention of foot problems
Proper foot care during childhood can help prevent a wide range of foot problems later on in life, such as; Sever’s disease, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
Overall health and well-being
Children's foot health is closely connected to their overall health and well-being.
Foot problems can lead to pain and discomfort in other areas of the body as well as in the feet, which can affect a child's ability to participate in sports and other daily activities. This can then have a negative impact on their physical and mental health.
Self-esteem and confidence
Children with foot problems may feel self-conscious or embarrassed, which can negatively impact their confidence. Ensuring that children have shoes that fit properly and provide proper support can help boost their confidence and self-esteem, and they will be able to participate in activities and socialize with their peers comfortably! We have great experience in dealing with various orthotics and AFO's and will work with your child to get the correct shoes to accommodate these.
A healthy foot enables children to participate in sports and other physical activities with ease and without pain. This is crucial for their overall physical and mental development and is a key aspect of any happy child’s life.
It's important that as parents, guardians and caregivers, we take the time to regularly monitor our children's foot development and make sure that they are comfortable and happy in the shoes that they are in.
It's also important for children to learn good foot care habits, such as wearing appropriate shoes, keeping their feet clean and dry, and learning stretching and strengthening exercises.
With that in mind, we’ve got some top tips that both parents and children can do to keep their feet healthy as they develop through childhood and into their adult years
Tips for good child foot care
Here are some tips on how to properly care for children's feet to ensure they develop and grow healthily and happily:
Measure your children’s feet regularly
Children's feet grow quickly, so it's important to measure them regularly to ensure that they are wearing the correct shoe size. If you want to do this by yourself at home, trace your child’s feet on a piece of paper or use a foot measuring device but please, please bear in mind that the size is only a guide, it is the fitting of the shoes that matters much more.
Choose the right shoes
Different types of shoes are designed for different activities, so it's important to choose the right shoe for your child's needs. For example, running shoes are designed to provide support and cushioning for high-impact activities, while sandals are more appropriate for warm weather and light activity.
Make sure shoes fit properly
Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause problems with foot development and lead to pain and discomfort. Make sure that shoes give enough room for the child's toes to wiggle, the heel is snug and the foot is not sliding forward.
Through our professional shoe measuring and fitting service, we can ensure your child’s shoes fit correctly and encourage proper development and growth instead of stunting or preventing foot development.
Break in new shoes gradually
New shoes may feel stiff and uncomfortable at first, and it’s not uncommon for children to complain. Therefore, it's important to break them in gradually to help prevent blisters and other foot problems.
Have your child wear their new shoes for just an hour a day at first and gradually phase them in for maximum comfort!
Keep feet clean and dry
Regularly wash and dry your child's feet to help prevent fungal and bacterial infections. This may sound like obvious advice but it’s worth paying extra attention to just in case any bacterial infections are growing without you noticing.
This is particularly relevant for sporty children who do regular exercise, such as football, rugby, athletics or any other high-energy sport.
Encourage foot exercises
Encourage your child to do foot exercises and stretches, such as picking up small objects with their toes, drawing the alphabet with their feet, or rolling up and down on to their tip-toes when brushing their teeth. This can help to strengthen the muscles and tendons in their feet.
Consult a paediatrician or podiatrist if problems persist
If you notice any persistent pain, redness, swelling or any other signs of a possible foot problem, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A paediatrician or a podiatrist can provide guidance and medical advice on how to properly care for your child's feet and recommend any necessary treatment.
Remember, children's feet are constantly growing and changing, so it's important to keep an eye on their foot health and make sure that their shoes always fit properly and comfortably.
By following these tips, you give your child's feet the best chance of developing and growing naturally and healthily. For any further advice on children’s foot care, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Ruby Ruby team and we’d be more than happy to help if any way that we can.