Arch collapse can cause problems: Flatfeet in children

As we start approaching the school season and begin our back to school shopping, it is the ideal time to focus on the foot before the new shoes are purchased. Remember its not normal to have pain in your feet especially for a child.


Flat feet also known as pes planus, is one of the most common problems in children and can cause unwanted aches. This is a condition where there is an abnormal collapse of the arch when standing. This causes excessive strain on the soft tissues and joints of the foot and can even lead to knee pain.


Here are some early warning signs of flatfeet:

  1. Is your child 4 years or older? With younger children it is normal to have a flattened arch. Around age 4 you should start to see an arch form.
  2. When you look at the back of your child’s heel as they stand, do the heels tend to angle outward with bowing of the Achilles tendon?
  3. Does your child complain of foot or ankle pain esp the inside arch after activity and feels better walking barefoot?
  4. Do you the parents or other family members have flatfeet? If so, there is a good chance you passed that foot structure onto your child


Most parents want the best for their kids and will do what it takes to ensure their child’s health and success. However it is not always on parent’s minds that if your child’s feet are functioning abnormally, their ability to perform in sports and play outside can be hindered due to pain.


What should parents do if they suspect flatfeet in their child?


It is recommended to have your child evaluated early, even before age 4 if the parents have flat feet. The earlier you begin treatment, the better the outcome is for improvement in their overall foot structure over development.


One of the most effective conservative treatment options is orthotic therapy. Depending on the severity of the flatfoot and the developmental timeline, they may benefit from an OTC pair or a custom pair. This is done by taking a scan of your child’s foot in the corrected neutral position and from this we make an insert that will fit in all shoes. We also carry the Kiddyorthotics made by Prolab for those patients with a mild flatfoot.


By doing this we can keep your child’s feet healthy and happy. So remember, if your going shoe shopping for back to school – take a look at your child’s foot before you hit the store. A visit to your podiatrist may be in order. Some shoes are better than others for flatfeet and knowing what the best brands are might save you time and money.

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