Your Child’s Feet

Back-to-school care tips

Make Sure Their Shoes Fit

In childhood, feet can grow at an astounding rate. Depending your child’s age, he or she may still be outgrowing their footwear before wearing them out. And tight, ill-fitting shoes can create a lot of painful problems for a kid—blisters, ingrown nails, pressure sores, heel pain, etc.

When fitting shoes for kids, make sure they have at least half an inch of “wiggle room” between the longest toe and the front of the shoe. Remember also that feet are not always exactly the same size, so you’ll need to measure both feet carefully and fit to the longer one.

Make Sure Their Shoes Are Activity-Appropriate

According to a 2012 study by the American Podiatric Medical Association, 75 percent of high school students play sports at least recreationally, and almost 40 percent of them have hurt or injured their feet doing so. That’s a huge number, and pretty incredible when you think about it.

Especially now that fall sports are starting up, children who play and train regularly in a specific sport should have shoes that are designed for that sport. The risks to a child’s feet from running, for example, are not the same as those for football, basketball, or any other sport. So it isn’t a good idea for them to use the same generic sneakers for everything.

Other Bits of Shoe-Related Advice

As you can probably see by now, shoes are critically important. Other helpful tips here:

  • Don’t let your kids go barefoot on pavement, pool decks, or other hazardous surfaces. This is a recipe for all kinds of cut, splinters, stubs, and even warts or fungal infections.
  • Replace worn shoes. Older kids may start to wear out shoes before they grow out—and they also might have a tendency to get attached to their favorite pairs. But worn shoes aren’t able to do the important work of cushioning and supporting, so they need to be replaced.
  • No hand-me-downs. Although it’s tempting to try to save money and pass shoes from older siblings to younger ones, sharing shoes is a bad idea. One, it can base along grody micro-organisms. But more importantly, shoes that have already “conformed” to one foot can irritate another, even if they’re still in good shape and the size is otherwise correct.
  • Rotate pairs. Shoes get smelly, especially those worn by teens and preteens. Having two pairs that they can rotate between allows more than 24 hours of drying time between uses, which cuts down on sweat, odor, and the odds of a fungal infection.

If your child is struggling with any kind of foot problem this fall—anything from foul odors or warts to ankle sprains or other serious injuries—bring them in. We love caring for kids!

Book your appointment today. We are here to listen to what your body has to say.

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