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Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Contents -

Ad­vice and wis­dom

SOLE SEARCH­ING

Q Can my tod­dler wear hand-me-down shoes?

A Sharon Don­ald­son, early child­hood health nurse, says: Foot spe­cial­ists (po­di­a­trists) ad­vise that care should be taken in the use of sec­ond­hand shoes. They should not be out of shape or have heels that are worn down. How­ever, usu­ally these shoes have been worn for a short pe­riod, as chil­dren’s feet grow quickly and a child makes only a small im­print in­side the shoe. Think about the fol­low­ing points:

Make sure that hand-me-down shoes fit prop­erly; never al­low chil­dren to wear shoes they need to grow into. This can cause foot and leg prob­lems, and can be a trip­ping hazard.

In­spect the in­sides of the shoes for wear. If the in­soles show a lot of wear, es­pe­cially if you can see the im­prints of the feet, toss them out.

Check the out­sides of the shoes for wear. Are the soles in good shape, or do they have smooth spots? Are any sides of the soles worn down? Some chil­dren walk on the in­side or out­side of their shoes. If you see signs of this, throw the shoes out.

Buck­les or laces are bet­ter than Vel­cro or slip-on shoes as they are more sup­port­ive and al­low the shoe to be kept firmly on the foot, even as the shoe stretches and changes shape over time.

San­dals need a closed heel. If you grasp the sides of the back of the shoe, you should not be able to squeeze the sides to­gether or push the back down.

DR MIKE STARR

SHARON DON­ALD­SON

BARB GLARE

DR SCOTT DUN­LOP

DR VI­JAY ROACH

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