Hinkler Podiatry continues to provide real options for foot health for all ages.
CHILDREN are dynamic, inspiring and fearless.
Everyday there is a new discovery and a new milestone achieved.
During this dynamic phase, a child’s feet, legs and walking style also develop and change very quickly.
It can often be difficult for a parent to know what is normal and what needs attention.
When it comes to walking, most children will develop at their own pace.
After being able to pull themselves up and furniture walk, generally children will start to walk around 10-12 months of age, although for some, it may be earlier.
As the bones in the foot are still developing, there is no benefit in trying to expedite this transition. Initially, the steps will be wide and unsteady with arms held high and head tilted forward.
Children then gain more strength and balance and a distinctive gait pattern can start to emerge. Flat feet, toe walking, intoeing and frequent falling can be signs that further professional advice and assessment would be beneficial.
Many adult foot issues can begin in childhood, making early intervention advisable.
It is at this stage that many parents become aware of a child having flat feet.
In most cases, flat feet are common in very young children due to the presence of a normal developmental fat pad and the lack of bone development.
Flat feet, fallen arches and rolled in ankles can be normal, however pain should always be investigated. Children have different perceptions of pain or may not have language skills to articulate a problem. Children who complain of tired legs, who fall frequently, who dislike walking for extended periods (preferring to ride in a trolley or sit in a pram) or who dislike participating in active play may benefit from a professional assessment.
Older children can develop heel pain associated with bone growth called Sever’s disease.
This is a condition commonly seen in children between the ages of 8-13 where pain is present in the back of the heel bone (usually both feet) which is made worse with activity.
Sever’s can be quite painful for the child however the condition is usually easily managed with heel raises and strapping.
High arches in a child, too little movement in a joint or a loss of motion in the foot and ankle is not normal and should be assessed.
Children of school age will benefit from shoes which have a supportive heel, flexible forefoot, secure to the foot with laces or Velcro and have sufficient width and depth.
To celebrate Foot Health Month, Hinkler Podiatry will be offering No Gap Children’s Foot Checks (for eligible Health Fund members), from the start of the school holidays though to the end of October.
Phone Hinkler Podiatry for more information or to make an appointment.
Remember their little feet have to walk them through life.
Hinkler Podiatry principal podiatrist Alex Bramley checks the feet of Zali from Thabeban Little Athletics.
Hinkler Podiatry podiatrist Gina MacPherson is happy to recommend ways for parents to help their children’s feet