Many adult foot ailments, like other bodily ills, have their origins in childhood and are present at birth. Periodic professional attention and regular foot care can minimize these problems in later life.
Neglecting foot facts invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. There can also be undesirable personality effects. The youngster with troublesome feet walks awkwardly and usually has poor general posture. As a result, the growing child may become shy, introverted, and avoid athletics and social functions. Consultation between the podiatrist, pediatrician and other medical specialists helps to resolve these related problems.
Your Babys Feet
The human footone of the most complicated parts of the bodyhas 26 bones, and is laced with ligaments, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Because the feet of young children are soft and pliable, abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities.
A childs feet grow rapidly during the first year, reaching almost half their adult foot size. This is why foot specialists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet.
Starting to Walk
When the child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible footwear made of natural materials.
As a childs feet continue to develop, it may be necessary to change shoe and sock size every few months to allow room for the feet to grow. Although foot problems result mainly from injury, deformity, illness, or hereditary factors, improper footwear can aggravate preexisting conditions.
The feet of young children are often unstable because of muscle problems which make walking difficult or uncomfortable. A thorough examination by a podiatrist may detect an underlying defect or condition which may require immediate treatment or consultation with another specialist.
The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends foot facts examinations for school children on a regular basis.