To ensure that your child's feet is growing properly with love remember to check your child's shoe size often, make sure there is space between the toes and the end of the shoe and that the shoes are roomy enough to allow the toes to move freely. Remember that children with strong, healthy feet avoid many kinds of lower extremity problems later in life. Children's feet grow quickly, so parents should make sure they always wear the right shoe size with plenty of room for growth. This may require buying a new pair of shoes every few months. Shoes should never be handed down from child to child, but purchased to fit. Improper footwear can aggravate pre-existing foot conditions such as injury, deformity, illness or hereditary problems.
When shopping, search for reasonably priced, flexible, well-ventilated shoes. Of course, style is also a major concern among school-aged children. Expensive shoes are a fashion statement, but it's more important to purchase them for good foot health. It may be better to purchase two $50 pairs than one $100 pair, so the child can alternate shoes and avoid wearing them out too quickly. Generally, children's shoes should bend in the arch instead of at the ball of the foot to avoid strained arches. Avoid poorly constructed skateboarding shoes, cleats and campus shoes, which can stretch the heel cord and cause pain.
For the millions of American children who participate in team and individual sports, buying the right shoe is critical. Sports that require a lot of running and turning can result in sprains and fractures. It's important that children get shoes specially designed for their sport, whether it be soccer, football, basketball or running. For a general physical education class, a cross-training or multipurpose shoe should be fine. To make an appointment for our Pediatric screening program, contact Dr. Bruce Theall at Gentle Touch Foot Care at 973 673-3668.