February 26, 2018: My child has flat feet – do I need to worry?
As Podiatrists at Maidenhead Podiatry we are often asked to look at the feet of young children as their parents ask – ‘My child has flat feet – do I need to worry?’.
All typically developing children are born with flexible flat feet. However they progressively develop a medial longitudinal arch (the arch that runs down the inside of the foot) during the first decade of their lives.
While a the child’s foot is expected to be flat, there is currently no consensus as to how flat this foot should be and while feet are seen to decrease in flatness with increasing age, it is not known how flat they should be at each any given age.
So, is it possible to define the postural characteristics, how flat is too flat and what is to be expected? What is a ‘typically’ developing paediatric (child’s) foot?
One way to is to compare all data currently published describing the typical development of the paediatric foot.
Looking at thirty four epidemiological (incidence, distribution, and control) papers regarding the development of the paediatric foot, sixteen different common foot posture assessments were identified which used a footprint to measure the reported outcome.
What resulted were some interesting conclusions.
Firstly, the use of the term normal in relation to foot posture is misleading.
There is no such thing as normal in the categorisation of the paediatric foot, a flat foot posture is an expected finding at different ages.
Secondly, the foot posture of the developing child is indeed age dependent and has been observed and demonstrated to change over time.
Therefore no firm conclusion can be reached as to which age the foot posture of children ceases to develop further because no two foot measures are comparable.
One of the problems with current research is that there is no consensus on how to measurement of the paediatric foot, using valid and reliable assessment tools.
What this means for parents is that if they are concerned about their children’s feet being too flat, they need to consult a Podiatrist so that each case can be assessed on its own merits.
If you would like more information, to make an appointment or to speak to one of our Podiatrist then call our reception team on 01628 773588.
Golden tips from Maidenhead Podiatry to keep your feet sweet in the hot weather.
Watch out for foot infections – the floors of communal showers and changing rooms at open-air and hotel swimming pools are hot spots for infections such as athlete’s foot and verrucas.
Don’t wander around public pools barefoot. Protect your feet by wearing flip-flops in the changing room and at the pool edge.
If your feet smell, wash them using an antibacterial soap. (If this doesn’t work – see the chiropodist/podiatrist). You can spray your feet with an anti-perspirant deodorant – the type used for arm pits.
If you have sweaty feet in the summer, it’s even more important to wash your feet each morning and evening in warm, soapy water then dry them thoroughly. You can also use an antibacterial wash, which helps deal with foot odour. Wipe them with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit and dust them with talc.
Nylon tights don’t absorb any sweat at all, so enclosed shoes on the shop floor can be very hot and uncomfortable.
If you wear trousers, it's best to use socks with shoes.
If you wear skirts, sandals with a back strap and strap over the instep are the most comfortable option.
If you use talcum powder, shake off all excess otherwise it ends up as soggy clumps between the toes and makes matters worse! ...