Healthy Feet for Children

The shoes your children wear are critical to their overall health. Learn how to determine if your child needs new shoes to keep their feet healthy.

It seems that every few months your children need new shoes and you may try to stretch your budget by fixing their current shoes or by giving them a pair a big sister or brother has discarded. Unfortunately, either solution may not be good for the feet of the child who needs a shoe fix.

Some health issues caused by improperly fitted, worn out or hand me down shoes include plantar fasciitis, Morton's neuroma, excessive sweating, hammertoes, corns, bunions and blisters.

Feet are critical to the overall health of the human body. Your children have 26 bones in their feet with almost half of them located in the toes. In addition to bones they have 19 muscles, 107 ligaments and 33 joints making their feet incredibly complex. As an adult you know from experience what problems foot pain or injuries can cause in your day-to-day life and this is even more frustrating for a child.

One way you can reduce or eliminate the possibility of problems with your children's feet is by inspecting their feet and shoes frequently. A foot inspection will alert you to problems your child has not yet found painful, and a shoe inspection will help you decide whether or not you want to repair or replace them. Following is a suggested checklist of issues to be considered.

Let's start with the foot inspection:

1. What is the size of the feet being inspected? Most people have one foot larger than the rest. If you are not sure of the size take your child to a shoe store to be sized properly.

2. Are there any obvious defects such as blisters, fissures, bunions, corns or spots that are just plain red and irritated?

4. Do you see any large patches of excessively dry skin?

5. Give your child a foot massage and watch for signs of pain or cramping.

6. Make note of any problems that necessitate a visit to your pediatrician.

Next, we'll move on to the shoe inspection:

1. Pay attention to the size of the shoes as compared to the current size your child wears. It may be possible to continue wearing shoes slightly bigger than the current size but never let them wear shoes that are to small.

2. How does the sole of the shoe look? Was it thin to begin with or has it thinned in response to use?

3. Is either heel loose?

4. Ask your child to put the shoes back on and check if they have adequate toe room or places where there the shoe causes friction against their skin.

5. Have your child walk in the shoes so you can see their gait.

When you have finished looking at your child's feet and shoes consider if you can repair any issues without harming the feet that wear the shoes. If there is no toe room but the shoes otherwise fit you may be able to stretch the toe box with stretching spray and a shoe stretcher depending on the fabric of the shoes.

If the soles of the shoe have become very flimsy or stretch easily in response to pressure then your child may develop plantar fasciitis which is a painful inflammation of the connective tissues in the arch of the foot. If you can flex the shoes below the toe box then the shoes need to be replaced.

When the heel of your child's shoes are too loose compared to the rest of the shoe, use a heel insert made for children. You want to avoid having your child develop hammertoes caused by using their toes to keep the shoes from slipping off. Calluses on the tops of the toes is a giveaway that the heels of the shoes are too lose.

If the shoes fit well but there a few spots of pressure, try using different socks. Socks now come in a variety of thickness and weight. Your little one may need a thicker sock to prevent pressure wear particularly if they often wear sports shoes.

If the issues with your child's feet seem ongoing despite new and well fitting shoes, they may need an orthotic device. Ask your pediatrician to recommend an orthopedist or podiatrist for an evaluation. Most orthotic devices are made of plastic and help distribute body weight evenly and realign the foot.

The feet your child is born with are the feet they need to carry them throughout their life. Paying attention to their feet can improve their overall health by eliminating leg, back and neck pain. A child will walk the distance around the earth three or four times during their lifetime. Don't you want to make that journey as pain free and comfortable as possible?

If you are looking for affordable shoes for your children, Kent Basson of has the solution for you. Kent initially created this on-line auction style shoe store to help people find one shoe or two matching shoes in different sizes. The site has evolved and now offers a generous selection of affordable shoes in the same size, two different sizes or only one shoe. To buy or sell shoes visit today!

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