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Toddler flat feet: Myths and facts

synadmin

October 4, 2016

Young parents are often fed misinformation about the well being of their children. They are vulnerable because of no experience in dealing with children before. One of the common misinformation they are fed is about flat feet. Here are the most common myths demystified:

Myth: Flat feet is a big problem

Fact: Not always. If you want your child to get into armed forces and is hell bent on getting it done, then it is a problem. Armed forces application forms mention that people with flat feet are not eligible. But how many of us actually get into the armed forces and at around two years of age, you do not know if your child wants to join the armed forces. So do not fret. It is no big deal. “Just because someone has flat feet does not mean they have a problem. Many people are born with collapsed arches due to certain bony alignments in their feet. Now children who are having flat feet might grow up to have a neutral arch later. The issue rises when a child complains of pain on walking for long distances. That is when the flat feet is symptomatic and requires attention,” said Karthik Ashok, consultant physiotherapist at Anand Diagnostic Laboratory, Bangalore’s largest independent testing laboratory.

Myth: Wearing right kind of shoes early helps in improving flat feet.

Fact: This is the biggest marketing gimmick employed by shoes companies. “The feet will end up being flat after you remove the shoes,” said Ekta Jaiswal, a Mumbai-based pediatric physiotherapist. In fact physiotherapists suggest that a child should be allowed to walk bare foot as much as possible and on different surfaces. “It is also important to keep them physically active. Get them to walk on narrow passages, do book balancing, walk on some patterns on flooring and things like that. That way they keep their curve active,” added Jaiswal.

Myth: Keep the child’s feet covered all the while.

Fact: This is one of the most commonly followed and believed norm in India. India is a tropical country and is comparatively hot for most of part of the year. Young parents tend to keep the baby fully covered with sweaters, booties, socks and mitten even if the weather is hot. Baby’s feet should be kept bare as much as possible. “One of the most common cause of flat feet could be overuse of foot ware from a young age. Children should be encouraged to walk/run on various surfaces without foot wear as this will encourage motor control and the child’s ankle will learn to accommodate to the surface. Parents should encourage walking bare feet, on various surfaces and avoid shoes all the time,” added Ashok. Tips to care for toddler feet:

  • Keep your child bare feet as much as possible.
  • If you have to keep it covered, make sure socks or booties give plenty of room for the child to move its feet.
  • Keep checking the size of the socks regularly. The minute it is uncomfortable or small change them.
  • Leather booties are gaining attention in India. They are the next best option for bare skin.
  • Keep the child’s feet clean and dry all the while
  • Clean the area between toes regularly.
  • Trim the toes nails and remove the dirt from nails regularly.

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