standard-title Paediatrics

Paediatrics

Paediatrics

The foot is a complex structure of 26 bones and 35 joints, held together and supported by scores of ligaments. A baby’s foot is padded with fat and is highly flexible. Children begin to walk anywhere between 8-15 months of age. Most toddlers are flat-footed when they first start walking, or tend to turn their feet inwards, because of poor muscle tone and weak ligaments in their feet. This will improve as the feet strengthen and changes to the position of the foot will be noticed up until the age of 6 years.

You should see your doctor or podiatrist if you are worried about your child’s feet or gait.

Problematic symptoms may include

  • Stiffness.
  • Bunions or other deformities.
  • Ingrown toenails.
  • Abnormally shaped toes.
  • Limping.
  • The child complains of pain while walking.
  • Severe in-toeing or out-toeing.
  • Flat feet.
  • A sudden change in the way your child walks.

Treatment

Orthotic devices are effective in the treatment of children with foot deformities. Most podiatric physicians recommend that children with such deformities be placed in orthotics soon after they start walking, to stabilize the foot. The devices can be placed directly into a standard shoe, or an athletic shoe. Usually, the orthotics need to be replaced when the child’s foot has grown two sizes. Different types of orthotics may be needed as the child’s foot develops, and changes shape. The length of time a child needs orthotics varies considerably, depending on the seriousness of the deformity and how soon correction is addressed.

Paediatrics