Flat feet in kids aren't always normal. Here are some warning signs that you don't want to miss.
Babies are often born with flat feet, in fact most babies and toddlers will appear to have no arch at all. This is due to the flexibility in their foot as well as that extra "baby fat", causing their feet to flatten (or appear that way) when they stand. You will also see that toddlers have a waddling walk and the feet often turn out.
In the average child, flat feet resolve by Kindergarten or six years old as the feet become less flexible and the arches develop. 10-20% of kid's flatfeet with persist onto adult hood, but that still does not make it "normal".
If you haven't seen your child develop an arch by this time, or they complain or show symptoms earlier, they should be evaluated by a Podiatrist who sees children on a regular basis. The symptoms you should watch out for are:
1-Not wanting to wear socks and shoes
2-Fatigueing or getting tired when walking for a while
3-Retracting from sports, gym or play
Many children with symptoms are treated with an insert to control the mechanics of the foot, however not all children need them. It is important to undergo a full evaluation, sometimes including xrays to check for underlying and more serious causes of the flat feet. Certain forms of flat feet may need to be treated differently. For instance, a child may have tightness of the heel cord (Achilles tendon) that limits the motion of his foot. This tightness can result in a flat foot, but it usually can be treated with special stretching exercises to lengthen the heel cord. Often times we also note a weakness in the core and hip musculature that can be addressed with at home strengthing or physical therapy.
If anything is bothering or worrying you, call today to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors...who also happen to be Moms too!