SEC­OND-HAND SOLES

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Real Advice -

Q IS IT SAFE FOR MY TOD­DLER TO WEAR SHOES THAT HAVE BEEN HANDED DOWN TO HER?

A EARLY CHILD­HOOD HEALTH NURSE SHARON

DONALDSON SAYS: In the case of tod­dlers’ footwear, as long as the shoes are in good con­di­tion, haven’t been worn into a par­tic­u­lar pat­tern and have a sturdy con­struc­tion, they’re suit­able to be handed down to be worn by another child. Usu­ally tod­dler shoes have been worn for only a short pe­riod, and a small child will have made just a light im­print in­side the shoe.

Still, po­di­a­trists ad­vise that some care should be taken in the use of sec­ond-hand shoes, which shouldn’t be out of shape or have worn-down heels. Some chil­dren have a ten­dency to walk on the in­side or out­side of their shoes, so check the out­side of the shoes for wear. The heel counter – the part of the shoe that keeps the foot in at the heel – should be straight. Have a good look at the in­soles and throw them away if you can see much wear or the im­prints of feet. Shoes should fit prop­erly and chil­dren should never be al­lowed to wear shoes they need to grow into, as it can cause foot and leg prob­lems.

Young chil­dren learn­ing to walk don’t re­ally need shoes un­til they have been walk­ing for a cou­ple of months, and then it’s mainly to pro­tect their feet from dam­age. It is, how­ever, a good idea to let your child go bare­foot reg­u­larly to help her de­velop bal­ance, co-or­di­na­tion and good pos­ture. It’s also eas­ier for chil­dren to learn to walk and run when they can feel what they’re touch­ing with their feet.

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