Developing feet are not simply small adult’s feet. At six months of age the foot is still mostly cartilage, the last bone doesn’t begin to form until children are about three years old. By the age of 18, most of the bones are fully formed.
Children usually begin to walk any time between 10 and 24 months of age. Each child is unique as they more through the developmental stage at their own pace. When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing babies to go barefoot or to wear just socks helps the foot to grow normally and promotes the grasping action of toes.
Some common problems in children’s feet can include:
In-toeing, Out-toeing and Toe walking
Most children will have grown out of these walking styles by the age of two. Flat Feet – 10-20% of children have flat feet. This can cause pain, affect mobility and interfere with normal activity.
Can occur in growing children, usually between the ages of 8 and 13, as they increase their participation in sporting activities. Heel pain that limits activity or is present all the time should be checked.
Skin, Nails and Warts
Conditions such as in-grown toenails, athlete’s foot and warts can all occur in growing feet. Children, especially teenagers, are more susceptible to warts and in-grown toenails, than adults.
when purchasing shoes, always have both feet measured for length and width, shoes should fit the natural shape of the foot especially around the toes. The toe area should allow toes to move freely and not be squashed from the top or the sides.