Posts for tag: Proper Footwear
During the school year, your children maintain their normal school routine with frequent activities and are constantly on the go. In order to maintain their busy schedules, it is vital that their feet are protected against the aches and pains of non-stop daily activities. From infants and toddlers to high school kids, the need for continual foot relief is constant. Pain in your child’s foot or ankle is never normal, as there is no such thing as "growing pains." Your podiatrist should evaluate any pain that lasts more than a few days, or that is severe enough to limit the child’s walking, as soon as possible.
Infants and Toddlers
Whether your infant or toddler is in school or daycare, their feet need extra protection early on to promote healthy feet later on in their lives. The size and shape of your baby’s feet change dramatically during their first year. Too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet as a baby’s feet are flexible. When choosing shoes for your baby make sure their shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes as this can cause damage to their precious toes.
As your infant continues to grow, it is important not to force your toddler to walk before he or she is ready to. Once your toddler does begin to walk, watch your toddler’s gait – the way in which they walk. Many toddlers may have a pigeon-toed gait, which is normal, while some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Most children will outgrow both of these problems, but other conditions detected early can be treated more easily.
Proper Shoes for Your Children
Before you head to the store to buy your kids shoes, follow some simple guidelines provided by your podiatrist to prevent or minimize foot problems from poorly fitting or worn out shoes. Your child’s feet can grow up to two sizes in six months, so you need to account for growth when purchasing new shoes. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy shoes that are too big, as oversized shoes cause the foot to slide forward, putting excessive pressure on the toes. A well-fitting shoe has about a finger’s width from the end of the shoe to the tip of the big toe. If your child’s shoes are too tight, they can cause blisters, corns, calluses, or ingrown nails that become can become infected.
Shoes will lose their shock absorption over time, so it is important to inspect new and old shoes for proper cushioning and arch support. If your child’s shoes exhibit wear and tear around the edges of the sole, replace them with new shoes that have adequate support. When buying new shoes, check to see that the toe box flexes easily and the shoe does not bend in the middle of the sole. Worn-out shoes elevate the risk for heel pain, Achilles tendonitis, and even ankle sprains – be sure to replace then as soon as possible.
Remember to check your child’s shoe size often, as they will continually change shoe sizes as they grow. With your podiatrist’s care, the risk of bone problems can be reduced. Contact your podiatrist today if your child is experiencing any pain in their feet due to injury or abnormal growth.
Practice Routine Foot Care
- Wash your feet daily with warm water. Whenever you get your feet wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
- Keep skin soft and smooth with foot cream (ask your podiatrist for suggestions). Apply it to the tops and bottoms of your feet. Do not put lotion between the toes to avoid causing an infection.
- Scrub your feet, especially the heels, with a foot scrubber or pumice stone on a regular basis to remove calluses and dead skin.
- Trim toenails once a week, cutting the nails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
- In the sun, apply sunscreen to protect your exposed feet.
- To keep you feet dry and odor free, make use of products like foot powders and sprays.
Wear Appropriate Footwear
You often worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of their body. You teach them how to wash, brush and groom, but what do you do about your child’s feet as they are still developing? Many adult foot ailments, as with other health issues, have their origins in childhood, and can be present at birth. Periodic professional attention from your podiatrist and regular foot care can minimize these problems.
Neglecting your child’s foot health creates negative effects on other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. Foot health begins in childhood because your child’s feet must carry him or her for a lifetime. Your child’s life is certain to be happier and more enjoyable if you have your child develop strong, healthy feet as he or she grows into adulthood.
Your Podiatrist Explains: The Early Years
The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body, with 26 bones as well as ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. The feet of an infant are soft and pliable, and abnormal pressure can cause deformities. In the first year, a child’s foot grows rapidly, reaching almost half their adult foot size. Podiatrists consider the first year to be the most important in regards to development. To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet, and make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze their toes.
Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready, and you should try not to force this act. Watch your child’s gait once he or she begins to walk. Pay close attention to see if their toe touches first in their step instead of the heel, or if your child always sits while others actively play. Many toddlers have a pigeon-toed gait, which is normal, and some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. Most children outgrow these problems, but they could be a sign of a problem that will continue into adulthood without treatment.
Footwear for your Child
Children should not wear shoes until they can walk, so avoid pram shoes, which are normally soft, and usually made to match outfits. For babies, avoid tightly wrapped blankets that prevent kicking and leg movement. Walking barefoot in the home, where it's safe, is good for children. Your child’s feet are vulnerable to deformity from any ill-fitting footwear until the bones are completely formed at about 18 years of age. In addition, socks made from natural materials are better for your child’s feet than stretch-fit socks.
When buying shoes for your child, the shape of the shoe and the toe area should be wide and round, allowing for toes to move and spread. It is also important for the shoe to have a lace or a buckle. Without this, your child’s toes will claw to hold the shoe on, much the same way you may find yourself doing when you wear flip flops. The heel of the shoe should not be too high, as high heels can also result in foot deformity.
Start early in taking care of your children’s feet, because neglecting foot health is an invitation for severe problems. Contact your podiatrist for further consultation on your child’s growing, active feet. Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run and play. Take extra precautions to protect their feet, so they may experience a lifetime of healthy activity.
Most people do not realize the tremendous amount of pressure that is put on their feet during exercise. During running, the 26 bones, 33 joints,112 ligaments, and network of nerves and tendons that make up the foot all work together. Improper foot care during exercise can cause ailments from athlete’s foot to blisters, from corns to heel pain. Your podiatrist is here to help you stay active and keep running without damaging your feet.
Check Your Shoes
One of the most important things you can do for your feet while exercising is wear proper shoes, especially if there is running involved. Good shoes need to provide cushioning for shock absorption because of the force you are putting on your legs, ankles and feet when you run. It's important to select a pair of shoes designed for the shape of your foot and its natural structure and inclination.
Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen to ensure a good fit. It also helps to wear the type of socks you will wear when running when you try on new shoes. If you use an orthotic, bring that as well. Look for lightweight, breathable shoes to ensure comfort, and consider buying two pairs and rotating them to extend the life of each pair. Running shoes should be replaced about every 400 miles.
Other Guidelines for Foot Care
Aside from having the right shoes for exercise, there are also other measures you can take to preserve the health of your feet.
- Wash your feet every day and make sure they are dried thoroughly.
- Good quality, well-fitting socks is also important for foot care.
- The more weight that is put on your feet, the more strain there is.
- Being in shape and being at a healthy weight will help take some of the stress off of your feet.
- Avoid walking barefoot.
- Do not ignore any foot pain.
Contact your podiatrist as soon as you feel any pain in your feet. The earlier an ailment is diagnosed, the easier it is to heal.
An average day of walking results in a cumulative force equal to several hundred tons inflicted on your feet. Because of this, your feet are subject to injury more than any other part of your body. So you can see how important it is to protect your them, and the best way to do this is to wear proper footwear. Your podiatrist is available to offer options for the best shoes for your feet.
Quick Shoe Tips
- Have your feet measured while you’re standing
- Always try on both shoes and walk around the store
- Always buy for the larger foot; feet are seldom exactly the same size
- Don’t buy shoes that need a “break-in” period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately
- Shop for shoes later in the day
- Select a shoe with leather upper, stiff heel counter, appropriate cushioning and flexibility at the ball of the foot.
- Don’t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes because your feet do tend to get larger