Monday, May 18, 2009

Frannie's Feet

Where will my feet take me today?… Each 11-minute animated segment follows five-and-a-half-year-old Franny on a magical adventure. The shoes she tries on in her grandfather’s shoe repair shop transport her to destinations around the globe, where she meets new friends and tries to help them solve problems. When Franny dons a pair of hiking boots she is transported to middle of the African Savannah. In a pair of sandals, she twirls into a Mexican fiesta. Mukluks take her on a wild trip to the frozen arctic. In zoris, she travels to a tea ceremony in Japan. Sensitive and cooperative, Franny shows that you are never too small or too young to be a big help.

Franny’s Feet, targeted to four- to seven-year-old children, is rooted in the excitement, learning, and joyful discoveries that exploration can bring. In each episode, Franny discovers a new place, new people, and new situations that broaden her – and the viewer’s – understanding of the world. Problem solving, global awareness, science, and vocabulary development are woven together with delightful storytelling for a seamless, interdisciplinary learning experience.
Following each 11-minute story is an interactive segment called Franny’s Treasures, in which Franny speaks directly to viewers, asking for their help as she tries to figure out answers to game-like challenges. The educational content of the segments will expand on concepts explored in the preceding story. A sing-along music video follows Franny’s Treasures.

Online, kids can join Franny on adventures around the world. They also can engage in a variety of entertaining and educational games, including those that help build vocabulary.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Foot Growth

As children grow, bones grow and change shape until they reach the adult foot size during the late teenage years. Most bones are present at birth, but some appear at specific ages. Most long bones grow along the shaft near the joint, the epiphysis, but some bones, such as the heel bone grow by forming a cap, almost like an eggshell as the main body of the heel bone ossifies to enlarge and meet this cap, the apophysis. Between the ages of 10 and 15 the bones are forming and soft, easily damaged, especially in sports such as soccer, with thin-soled cleated shoes, or basketball, jumping and pounding on hard surfaces.

Please be sure your child's feet are always protected from unnecessary damage.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More On Children's Shoes

When a child begins to walk, shoes generally are not necessary. An infant should be allowed to go barefoot indoors or to wear only a pair of socks thus helps the foot grow normally and develop its muscles and strength, as well as the grasping ability of the toes.

As children become more active, and their feet start to develop, the need for shoes becomes apparent. It becomes necessary to change shoe sizes at a pace that frequently surprises and even dismays parents.

When purchasing shoes for children, remember these tips:

Examine the shoe itself. It should have a firm heel counter (stiff material on either side of the heel), adequate cushioning of the insole, and a built-in arch. It should be flexible enough to bend where the foot bends—at the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe.

The child’s foot should be measured while he or she is standing up with full weight-bearing.
There should be about one-half inch of space (or a thumb’s width) between the tip of the toes and the end of the shoe. The child should be able to comfortably wiggle his or her toes in the shoe.

Have the child walk around the store for more than just a few minutes wearing the shoe with a normal sock. Ask the child if he or she feels any pressure spots in the shoe. Feel the inside of the shoe for any staples or irregularities that could cause irritation. Examine where the inside stitching hits the foot. Look for signs of irritation on the foot after the shoe is worn.

Shoes should not slip off at the heels. Children who tend to sprain their ankles will do better with high-top shoes or boots.

Both feet should be measured, and if feet differ in sizes, shoes should be chosen that fit the larger foot best.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Right Shoe...


Did you know your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months? You need to account for growth when buying shoes. But don’t buy shoes that are too big – oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. A good fit is about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe. Check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe doesn’t bend in the middle of the sole. Don’t let your child choose shoes if they already feel tight and uncomfortable in the store – they won’t fit any better when you get home.

If you haven’t checked your child’s shoes recently, now is a good time. Follow these basics of a good fit:
• Look for proper cushioning and arch support. Shoes lose their shock absorption over time.
• Wear and tear around the edges of the sole usually means it’s worn out and needs to be replaced.
• Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, corns and calluses on your child’s toes, blisters on the back of the heels or ingrown toenails.
• Children with flat feet need shoes with a wide toe box, maximum arch support and shock absorption. The best shoes to buy are oxford, lace-up shoes that have enough depth for an orthotic insert, if necessary.

The basics of a good fit also apply to athletic shoes. Also, for comfort and injury prevention, children who regularly participate in a sport should wear shoes designed specifically for the demands of that sport. For example, tennis shoes are designed for side-to-side motion. When shopping for a general athletic shoe, cross trainers are a suitable choice. If specific socks are required as part of a uniform, have your child wear these socks, or ones of the same thickness, to try on the shoes.

If a child is having trouble walking and running, and is experiencing pain despite properly fitting shoes, a check-up by a foot and ankle surgeon is advised.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Interesting Baby Foot Facts

The easiest way to trim a babies nails is simply by peeling them with your fingers. They should be soft enough to avoid using scissors but, if required, only cut when two adults are around: one to hold wriggly feet, the other to do the careful cutting. Special baby scissors with rounded ends are available.

The flat footed appearance of some baby feet is normal and is caused by an extra layer of fat filling out the arches. This layer generally disappears at the end of toddler years when muscles strengthen and arches begin to develop. The curling of a babies foot when touched is known as the “plantar reflex” and is a indication of a healthy connection between the brain and spinal cord. When touched under the foot, the toes of a young baby (less than a few months) will fan out while those of an older baby will curl.

Experts agree that when possible, barefoot is best for babies. Footwear should be used when needed for warmth and protection (and sometimes to make an outfit!). When footwear is worn it should be appropriate to developmental stage.

Medical experts agree that flexible, soft-sole shoes are best for optimal growth and development of young feet. Traditional stiff, high-top, hard-sole shoes are actually detrimental to the growth and development of little feet.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Interesting Baby Foot Facts

A baby who's just started walking takes 176 steps a minute!

At birth your baby only has 22 out of the full 26 bones in their feet and the remaining few develop slowly throughout childhood, with the whole process finishing at around 16 to 18 years old. That means, baby feet are plumper and softer than adult feet and as such, need to grow and develop in soft, flexible shoes.

To avoid compressing and restricting baby’s feet, it is important to make sure that a baby’s shoes, socks and clothes are loose enough that they are able to move around easily. At least 18mm of growing room should be allowed between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

Due to the exertion of so much energy when learning to stand and balance, a baby’s foot sweats twice as much as adults! Because of this, it is important to only dress little feet in shoes and socks made of material that is breathable and absorbent. Also, make sure that a baby’s foot is completely dry after bathing.

Growth of babies’ feet is seasonal with faster growth in the warmer months. On average, children’s feet grow 2 full sizes a year until they are four years old. Little feet should be measured monthly the first year, every two months between the ages of 12 months and 24 months, and every 3 months from 24 to 36 months.

Happy Feet...

Happy Feet...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Kids...

= Happy Family!

= Happy Family!