It’s amazing how fast they grow up. One minute they’re a tiny infant, tiny fingers grasping yours. The next, they’re running, jumping, playing, and going to school. It’s a lot of growing—physically and mentally—in a very short period of time, and they need a lot of attention.
Growing feet need attention, too. Here are some quick tips to keep your little one’s foundation healthy and strong:
- Check shoe sizes regularly. That pair that fit perfectly, with even a little room to grow, three months ago? It’s probably too small now, and shoes that are too tight can lead to tripping, blisters, and pain. Parents can expect to find a new pair at least every 2-3 months through the toddler stage, and around 2 per year after age 3.
- Resist the urge to use hand-me-downs: For infants—when your child isn’t really walking yet—used shoes are probably okay. But for older kids, shoes quickly mold to the foot shape of their original user. Each foot shape is unique, so older brother’s old pair of sneakers are probably a very bad fit for little brother, even if it’s the “right size.” You might save a little money in the short term, but it’s not worth the potential foot problems down the road.
- Watch for heel pain during the adolescent growth spurt: Active young teens are especially susceptible to a condition called Sever’s disease, which affects the exposed growth plate in the heel. If this happens to your child, give them a few weeks to rest and try to encourage a mix of low-impact exercise (like cycling and swimming) to avoid overuse.
One more tip: if you notice anything out of the ordinary—flat feet, pigeon toes, stumbling or tripping, etc.—take your little one in for a visit with Dr. Keith McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. Many childhood foot issues require no treatment other than observation, but a professional screening can catch more serious nervous or musculoskeletal conditions before they become a problem. Give us a call at 512-593-2949 to schedule an appointment in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX.