Little Feet, Big Changes: Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Feet Healthy
The younger the foot, the faster it grows! It’s true—during the first few years of life, a child’s feet grow rapidly and go through many changes. Paying close attention to your child’s feet will help ensure a solid foundation as your child grows up to be a strong, healthy adult.
Here are a few tips for keeping your kids’ feet healthy through different stages of development:
Babies/Infants (ages 0-1)
Although babies do not walk yet, it is still important to take good care of those cute little feet. Keep your baby’s feet unrestricted for optimal development. For chilly toes, a pair of socks or booties should do the trick.
Toddlers (ages 1-3)
Whether your child is crawling or walking, you’ll want to monitor their feet closely as they become more active. Allowing your toddler to walk barefoot indoors will help develop muscles and strength, and promote normal growth. Be sure to keep their feet clean and keep an eye on their walking patterns.
Pre-schoolers (ages 3-4)
As your child starts running around more confidently and jumping over obstacles, it is very important to make sure they have the proper footwear for daily adventures. Be sure your child’s shoes are flexible, with enough room for their feet to grow. When it comes time to buy new shoes, remember that quality counts.
School-age children (ages 5-10)
Your child’s feet grow and change quickly during this period. You may need to purchase multiple pairs of shoes per year to ensure a proper fit. Make sure they wear the correct size—and remember to listen for complaints that their shoes are too tight. Help your child establish good outdoor footwear habits to prevent bacterial infections at the pool.
Adolescents and teens (ages 10+)
As children get older and start participating in sports, healthy foot hygiene and quality shoes that fit will be vital for preventing common foot health issues and sports-related foot and ankle injuries. Be sure your child has the right footwear for their activities—clearly explain what’s appropriate in terms of style, comfort level, etc., so they can pick out shoes that work best for them.
It is never too early to start teaching kids how to take care of their feet. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s foot health, make an appointment to see one of our trusted podiatrists.