Foot Health Advice
Foot complaints in children
Have you got a concern about your child's feet? Leading podiatrist Emma Supple discusses some conditions which may also occur in children who have just started walking:
'In-toeing' and 'Out-toeing'
If a child walks in a particularly exaggerated 'in-toed' or 'out-toed' manner this can be both perfectly normal or sometimes require an assessment from a foot specialist for any structural concerns that need addressing.
If your child 'intoes', avoid shoes with an external lip or edge to help minimize the tendency to trip.
For 'out-toers' make sure any shoes you choose for them takes into account the width of the child's foot, and that any excessive pronation or flattening of the arches is addressed by a footcare specialist.
Children who habitually walk on tip-toes but can easily walk with their heels on the ground just need a gentle reminder to keep their fairy feet down on the ground when wearing shoes!
Those children who find it harder to get their heels down will need assessment for heel cord tightness and some physiotherapy to help them stretch out their leg muscles - ask a specialist about this. Shoes that fasten up securely to these mobile feet are also beneficial, and look for shoes with a stiffened support round the heel, which is designed to cup and support the heel and keep in it a normal range of movement.
Generally, it is an inherited tendency to develop curly toes, and so if you see any signs of this in your child's feet, this needs to be assessed and managed by a specialist. They will be able to advise on simple and effective measures such as taping, and in the meantime, shoes with adequate toe room are essential.