Healthy Feet for Active Kids
By Arthur Kaplan, D.P.M
May 02, 2011
Category: Foot

Foot Care for KidsHealthy Feet for Active Kids

The feet of children grow and change rapidly during their first year, reaching almost half their adult foot size. Many changes in children’s feet are a natural part of development while others require attention and treatment from a professional. That’s why it’s important for parents to pay close attention to their child’s feet to ensure proper growth during every stage of development. At NY Sports Podiatry, Dr Arthur Kaplan provides expert care, diagnosis and treatment of ankle and foot disorders for children. Over half of all NY Sports Podiatry patients are children, ages 18 and younger.  This is a kid friendly sports podiatry practice.  Here are some tips to help parents guide normal development for their child’s feet:

  • For babies, avoid covering the feet too tightly as this restricts movement and can delay normal development.
  • If your child participates in sports, choose sport-specific shoes that fit his or her feet properly
  • Observe walking patterns. Does the child toe in or out; have bowlegs or knock-knees; limp or experience other gait abnormalities? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early.
  • A child’s feet size changes rapidly, so check your child's shoe size often. Shoes should be supportive, well-cushioned and roomy.
  • When applying sunscreen, remember to apply to the feet.
  • Kids love the freedom of being shoeless, but walking barefoot may increase a child’s risk of infection, sprains or fractures.  The same goes for excessive use of non supportive foot wear such as flip flops and sandals.  This type of shoe should only be used for short periods of time ( ie: going from your car to the beach) and should not be an all day affair.  Long days are for supportive foot wear.


Remember, your child doesn’t necessarily have to show signs of foot pain or discomfort for something to be abnormal.  A child’s foot is very pliable and can be deformed without the child or parent recognizing the warning signs.  Carefully monitor your child’s feet. If you notice unusual symptoms, seek professional care immediately. Deformities will not out grow by themselves.  The motto "he or she will out grow it," often echoed in pediatrician's offices, is just not a fair or accuarate statement to make.

Your child will depend on his or her feet for the rest of their life to get them where they need to go. Whenever you have questions about your child's foot health, contact  Dr. Kaplan at NY Sports Podiatry.  Any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, should be evaluated by a professional who is trained, experienced and comfortable treating children's feet.

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