As parents, we often worry about our children, especially when it comes to their health. If you’ve noticed that your child appears to have flat feet, you’re probably wondering if it’s a cause for concern.
Let’s take a look at exactly what flat feet are, and how to treat flat feet in children.
What Are Flat Feet?
Flat feet is an umbrella term for a condition where the inside arch of the feet is visible seen to lower at times almost or touching the ground. Flat feet can also be known as fallen arches, pronated feet or ‘rolling in’. Various conditions can cause the feet to become flat and it’s critical to have proper diagnosis.
It’s important for patients to note though they might appear to be similar there is a difference between adult flat feet and paediatric flat feet.
A child’s foot arch develops over time, so most children at some point in their lives will have what appear to be flat feet. Usually the foot arch starts to develop once a child starts walking and running, and can develop over several years, up to around the age of 10 in some cases.
This means that you shouldn’t panic if your child is very young and seems to have flat feet. However, if you are concerned about their feet, don’t hesitate to consult a paediatric podiatrist to put your mind at rest.
How To Treat Flat Feet In Children
As with any medical condition, treatment will vary from individual to individual. How to treat flat feet in children depends on a variety of factors – the age of the child, the severity of the flat feet, level of activity and presence of symptoms, are just a few of them.
No Treatment Needed
In many cases, children with flat feet will not need any treatment for the condition. Historically flat feet have been considered an undesirable disabling problem. This is no longer the case and clinical opinion has now changed.
Podiatrists now use a step by step approach to treatment. By making sure we do a thorough clinical examination and provide a correct diagnosis it may be the case that your child may not require treatment.
It’s always a good idea to speak to a paediatric podiatrist if you have any concerns though, as they can help put your mind at rest, even if it’s just to tell you that your child doesn’t need any treatment.
Keep An Eye On It
A podiatrist may recommend watching your child’s feet and monitor for any changes before making the decision to treat their flat feet.
Keep an eye out for any changes in the appearance of your child’s feet while standing or walking. Any changes to your child’s foot posture in general should be discussed with your paediatric podiatrist over time.
If there is a family history of flat feet, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the development of your child’s feet to pick up any issues as soon as you can.
Treatment Of Flat Feet In Children
If your child has flat feet and it is causing them pain or restricting their mobility, it may be recommended that they receive treatment.
Treatment could be as simple as changing the style of footwear they wear or undertaking some simple postural exercises which could help to strengthen the foot and help to develop an arch naturally.
In a severe case, your podiatrist may recommend insoles or custom orthotics to help both your child’s feet and posture.
How We Treat Children’s Foot Problems At The Foot Hub
At The Foot Hub in Sydney, we perform a computerised gait analysis as well as static stance testing to determine the extent of the problem. These results are referred back to over time to track the progress your child is making with their foot development.
We also understand that custom orthotics for children can be expensive when their feet are constantly growing. That’s why we have special discounts in place when it comes to custom orthotics for under 18s.
Speak to our podiatrist in Sydney today to find out more about how we can help your child.