Three Basic Foot Shapes
When a child is born, the feet are often comprised of flexible and soft cartilage, and the bones will eventually harden as the teenage years approach. Research has shown there are three basic foot shapes, and this will typically become evident when the child reaches two years old. A square foot shape consists of all the toes being the same length, while a rounded shape occurs when the big toe is shorter than the second or third toe. Additionally, if the big toe is the longest of all the toes, this is known as a tapered shape. Your child will benefit by spending the majority of the day without shoes on, and this will make it easier to strengthen and exercise the feet. Shoes will become a necessity when outdoor walking begins and this will enable the feet to adapt to different surfaces. When buying a first pair of shoes for your child, it may be beneficial to choose shoes that are constructed with flexible, non-slip soles, in addition to being lightweight. Please consult with a podiatrist for additional information on how to properly care for your child’s feet.
The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Westfield Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
- Make sure their shoes fit properly
- Look for any signs of intoeing or outtoeing
- Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
- Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
- Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
- Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
- Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water, and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Westfield and Newark, NJ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about How to Care for Your Child's Feet