Ready to be blown away and knock your socks right off? These kids’ foot facts might do just that! Feet may look small, but they are mighty impressive in more ways than one. In fact, the foot is comprised of 26 bones and 33 joints. They have the big task of keeping you balanced and mobile with each step you take throughout your life’s journey. Wow, feet! Thank you for being amazing!
#1 Problems with Feet is a Whole Body Problem
“Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” is right. The whole body is connected, which means if your child has a foot problem, other issues of the body are sure to follow. Flat feet in kids, for example, is a condition where the arch of the foot falls flat. The arch of the foot helps absorb impact when we walk. When the arch is absent, this means trouble. Knees and hips are likely to be affected negatively, thus causing discomfort in those areas of the body. Another example is misalignment. Misaligned feet wreak havoc on balance and even good posture. Seeing that foot health affects the whole body dramatically, it’s important to see your pediatrician if any concerns with the feet show up.
#2 Feet Grow FAST in the First 3 Years of Life
How fast do kids’ feet grow, you ask? We know that kids grow way too fast in general, and feet are no exception. In the first three years of life, a kids’ foot can grow up to 9 full shoe sizes. That’s about 1.5 mm in length per month. It’s true that some little feet will grow a little more than others, but you’ll definitely be seeing a difference as time goes on.
#3 Going Shoeless is Best Unless…
The role of shoes in life is to protect your little one’s feet from rough and tough surfaces. Shoes do not enhance your child’s foot development and will not get your little one walking or running any faster. It may be tempting to slip on cute and tiny tennis shoes, but going shoeless is really the best option when improving strength, balance, and coordination. The time to put shoes on is when your child starts walking and running with ease. Outdoor play off of grass is the best time for shoes. Any other time, let those feet soak in some fresh air! Shoes limit feet and their natural movements. When the time comes, the best kids’ shoes are lightweight and flexible. Avoid selecting shoes just because they are stylish. Finding well-fitting shoes in childhood will go a long way to prevent aches and pains down the road.
#4 Yes! Kids can Wear Orthotics
What’s so spectacular about kids’ orthotics? Everything! From preventing problems to relieving pain, orthotics make a difference that we’ve always been truly impressed with. Orthotics for kids helps keep the foot aligned and stable. As a result, aches in the hip and back diminishes while posture and balance benefit. Orthotics can also be used to improve conditions that involve the feet like flat feet or toe walking in kids. With each step taken, orthotics dominate the world of healthy stepping.
#5 Kids’ Foot Problems Need to Be Addressed Early On
The feet are such an important part of the body. When issues arise with the foot in childhood, this is not something to be ignored. Hoping that conditions are “outgrown” tend to only make problems worse. In fact, conditions like toe walking and flat feet in kids are never outgrown but are sometimes masked by your child’s growth. Without intervention from a professional, muscular tension, poor coordination/truck control, and lower body aches can result. Plus, it’s never a good idea to take risks with your rapidly growing little one. The best time to get help with concerns is right now.
Never fear! The Gilray Pediatric Therapy team is here to knock your socks off with both fun and functional physical therapy sessions. Contact us today.