My Child Has Flat Feet, What Should I do?
A common concern for parents is their child’s flat feet and how that may affect their development.
Infants are born with flat feet and do not start to develop an arch (like that of an adult) until age 7-10 years old so a flat foot throughout childhood is normal. However, children with severe flat feet who have alignment issues such as the picture below can benefit from interventions.
Toddler’s feet typically develop best when they are barefoot. The contact with the ground stimulates and exercises the large and small muscles in their feet as they learn to move and walk. As children grow they slowly lose the fat under the arch and begin to show a more adult like arch profile. In those children who have severe flat feet an intervention such as orthotics can help decrease and prevent foot, ankle, and knee pain.
As the foot rolls inward, it changes the alignment of the ankle, knee and hip meaning normal pressures from walking and running are not as easily transferred through the lower limb. This can put increased stress through the joints resulting in pain or injury.
An orthotic to maintain correct alignment of the ankle, knee and hip can help with proper muscular development and control as well as decrease risk of injury and pain. Early intervention in severe flat feet can help put the small bones in the foot in a better position to maintain an arch as the child grows.
Not every child with flat feet may need orthotics. It is best to get them assessed by a medical professional especially if they are complaining of pain in their feet, ankles or knees. We want children to be able to play, run and have fun and do not want pain to hold them back on the playground!
Call us if you would like an assessment for your child.
What should an orthotic feel like?
Burlington Orthotic Centre