Once they reach a certain age, keeping your children’s feet healthy is really not that much different from keeping your own in top shape. You want to keep your kids in the proper shoes for the activity they’re engaged in, make sure they wash their feet daily and dry them carefully, and don’t be afraid to report anything strange or painful to us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland.
But what about the baby years? There are definitely some special things you should know when it comes to those brand new feet.
Caring for newborn feet
- Get to know the shape of your baby’s foot, including her toes. Any changes, bumps, scaly patches, redness, or swelling need a doctor’s attention.
- Gently wash them with a mild soap and dry them – don’t forget in between the toes.
- Skip the shoes. Wearing shoes can actually impede the proper growth of baby’s feet.
Once your baby begins walking
- There’s a good chance he’ll have bowed legs – but they usually fix themselves by age two.
- He’ll probably have flat feet. That’s because a baby’s arch is not fully developed until he’s two or three years old.
- She might start out by walking on her toes. Toe walking is generally something that kids will grow out of, especially if you make a point to teach them a regular heel-toe motion. Make an appointment with Dr. Oltmann or Dr. Frey if your child walks on her toes beyond age three.
- Look out for toes that rotate inward. This is called in-toeing and may require correction if it doesn’t go away on its own. Likewise for toes that point outward (out-toeing).
- Do put shoes on their feet, and don’t be surprised if you have to buy new ones every few months. Keep checking how his shoes fit; it’s important that little feet have the room they need to grow.
A checkup with our podiatrists is a good idea if you develop any concerns at all about how your child is walking. If there is a problem, know that many of them are easily fixed with corrective shoes, orthotic inserts, and other methods when first detected. Taking care of foot problems early on can prevent further problems when your child hits his or her teens (and who needs more challenges during the teen years?!).
Don’t hesitate to visit us at our office in Solon, OH. Call us at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.