It’s common for babies to have flat feet when they’re born. This issue can continue as they grow older. Since children have flexible bones and joints, their feet can become flat when they stand. Furthermore, young children have a pad of fat on the inside of their feet, which can reduce the visibility of their arch. The arch is still visible if the baby is standing on its tiptoes, but it can’t be seen if the child is standing normally. In some cases, children may place more weight on the inner portion of their feet. This can make feet look even flatter.
It’s common for children to outgrow flat feet by the time they are six. This is because arches develop during this time, while feet are less flexible overall. Approximately 1 out of every 10 children will suffer from flat feet as they grow older. Treatment isn’t recommended for children who fail to develop an arch unless they are experiencing pain or stiffness in the foot. While many people think shoe inserts are a solution, they can actually cause issues for children with flat feet. Furthermore, they won’t help the foot to develop an arch. Slippers with arch support can be beneficial when walking around the house.
With that said, it may be necessary to treat flat feet in some cases. As an example, if the Achilles tendon (heel cord) is tight, the foot may have limited mobility. Stretching exercises can help to lengthen the Achilles tendon, which can correct flat feet. It’s unusual for children to have flat feet that are rigid, but if this condition does occur, it can cause numerous problems. Children with this affliction may struggle to move feet side to side or upwards and downwards. This condition won’t just cause pain. If it isn’t treated, it can cause the child to develop arthritis. It’s rare to see this condition in infants or in children that are very young. This condition typically develops when a child is a teenager. If you suspect your child suffers from rigid flat feet, you should discuss it with your child’s doctor.
If your child has foot pain, stiff feet, limited mobility, pressure areas on the inside of the foot, or sores, you should have them evaluated by a pediatrician as soon as possible. You may want to consult with a podiatrist or a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. These professionals specialize in foot conditions that impact children.