The first year of a child's life is considered to be the most important year of development by podiatrists. A child's foot will grow rapidly during the first year; reaching about half of their adult foot size. Rapid growth combined with the complexity of the foot means your child's feet need extra special attention!
It is important to take special care of children's feet because their feet are soft and pliable and abnormal pressure can cause deformities. Ignoring foot health in a child can lead to problems in other areas including the legs, back, and may cause problems with posture in the long run. A child who has an abnormal gait may retreat from social functions. Be sure to contact your podiatrist if you notice anything unusual in the development of your child's feet.
Tips to help foot development occur naturally in infants
- Provide exercise, lying uncovered allows the child to kick and move around which prepare the feet for weight bearing activities
- Change the baby's position several times a day
- Check your baby's feet often. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, talk to your physician or podiatrist
- Cover the baby's feet loosely; tight blankets and covers restrict the baby's movements