A long-standing myth is that flat feet in kids are normal. This myth can be particularly dangerous, as not addressing flat feet in kids can lead to associated painful foot conditions (such as bunions, hammertoes and tendinitis) when they reach adolescence and adulthood (or sooner!). Just look at your husband/wive's feet. We inherit our foot types from our genes (ie. parents/grandparents). If you are suffering with a painful bunion or tendinitis, chance are that your son/daughter will suffer this too - unless the child's foot type is addressed early-on.
Generally speaking, a child's foot will not have a visible arch in their first 2 years, as this is an area where the body deposits fat tissue in the early years. Arches are not, however, the only indicator when kids have 'flat feet' - it also comes down to the position of their heel bone (calcaneus) when they are standing in a relaxed position.
While we are on the topic of myths, I should also mention that foot problems in kids don't always present as pain. How then can you know if your son or daughter is suffering from a foot problem? The other (honestly more common) signs that your child may need podiatric attention is if they trip and fall often (seem 'clumsy'), walk on their toes, get tired easily during activity (want to be carried often) or if they seem to be refraining from exercise/sport. There is even some thought that more introverted kids may have foot problems that are making them feel a lack of confidence due to mental influence of poor posture.
A quick assessment by an experienced podiatrist can help to set your mind at ease about your child's feet. As someone very smart says, correction is a poor substitution for prevention - so make an appointment today to see one of the podiatrists at Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic!