How do your children’s feet change as they grow? In this blog post, we are going to look at certain stages of growth, how their feet change and any conditions that you should keep a lookout for.
Around 10cm long at birth, feet will double in size by the time your child is 1 year old, at 6 months the foot is still mostly cartilage by 18 years most of the bones are fully formed.
By 6 months your baby will be aware of and begin to play with both feet.
Around 12 months most children begin standing and walking, your toddler will probably walk the equivalent of 4 times around the world in a lifetime!
By the age of 3 children are learning to jump, hop, kick a ball, running a more complex task is also being mastered. Shoes should offer enough depth, length and width to accommodate the foot.
By the age of 6, both children’s feet and their walking pattern will resemble that of an adult.
Some feet have special needs. Children’s feet are still forming and are quite fragile, they can be damaged easily by shoes and socks that are too small. Early examination of children’s feet is a preventative measure. Walking, running and jumping will place greater physical demands on the body than normal daily activities.
Whilst running, your feet can absorb 3 times your body weight. It’s no wonder injuries to the lower limb and foot account for a large proportion of sporting injuries. Footcare professionals understand the structure and movement of the foot and ankle and their effects on the lower limbs, hip and spine.
Should my child have a regular check-up with a foot care professional?
Children’s feet have a unique developmental pattern of their own. A regular annual check-up with a foot care professional is recommended from when your child starts to walk. More so if your child regularly participates in sport and if you notice:
- Uneven shoe wear
- Hard skin/corns
- Complaints of recurrent pain in legs, feet or even low back
- Constant tripping or falling
- Enlarged joints in the foot, bunions
After careful examination and observing your child walking, we may suggest that your child would benefit from prescription Orthotics made from a plaster foot cast.
It is essential that your child receives a full gait and posture assessment. This will also include an examination of the lower back, hips and knees. If required we will advise a complimentary co-managed assessment with a Chiropractor and/or Physiotherapist specialising in Paediatrics who will co-examine and advise regards any postural problems that may be evident.
If treatment is undertaken your child will be seen on a regular basis until they have reached full skeletal maturity.