When babies are born, the bones in their bodies are still flexible and take years to become fully developed. That is why in the early years it is important to follow these tips to ensure proper foot development so that other problems can be avoided.
- Before your baby is walking, allow plenty of opportunities for unrestricted movement in the legs and feet.
- Do not put tight socks or shoes on. To protect the feet, cover with light or breathable material.
- Let them be barefoot when indoors. Being barefoot allows the baby to strengthen the toes and feet necessary for bearing weight and eventually walking.
- Do not force your toddler to walk before he or she can walk alone, as they will only start when physically and emotionally ready.
- Once they start walking, they should walk barefoot or in socks indoors to develop the proper musculature and strength in the toes and feet. Protect the feet when outdoors to avoid injuries and infections.
- Always ensure that the shoes fit properly. Babies’ feet grow rapidly in the first few years, so they may grow out of shoes every few months.
- Shoes change and mold to the wearer’s feet, so never use old or second hand shoes.
- Observe your child’s feet regularly and see a podiatrist if you notice any abnormalities. Not all children feel pain or discomfort since their feet are still flexible.
Although conditions like flatfoot and in/out-toeing are common in young children, if they persist or worsen or only affect one leg, it is important to consult with an experienced podiatrist who can help diagnose and treat the issue. Dr. Russell Samofal of Podiatry Center of New Jersey treats patients of all ages and is highly trained to address all kinds of foot and ankle problems including heel pain, arch problems, diabetic foot problems, bunions, hammertoes, and nail fungus. Prevent problems later by ensuring your child’s feet are developing normally! To schedule an appointment, please contact us or call our office in Wayne, NJ by calling (973) 925-4111!