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Whether your child is taking his or her first steps or scoring a soccer goal for the varsity team, they depend on you to provide them with healthy and strong feet. Treat their feet well from the time they are born, and they will thank you for life!
Did you know that the human foot has 26 bones? It is a complicated part of the body that includes blood vessel, muscle, and nerve systems. Think about all the things that can go wrong! Young kid’s feet are soft, so hard surfaces, bangs, and bumps can really affect them – and even lead to deformities.
How quickly baby’s feet grow during their first year! Dr. Vargas, the award-winning foot doctor in Sugar Land and Houston, TX, pays close attention to children’s feet during this crucial growing period because finding and treating foot problems early can prevent a child from missing out on things they’d love to do later in life as they grow.
Babies can’t speak for themselves and not all children tell their dads and moms if they feel foot pain. That is why after baby starts walking it is so important to check the way they move. Sometimes kids walk on the tips of their toes and it looks cute or funny. However, if done frequently, it can be a sign of a developing foot problem or potentially cause a foot problem as the feet and ankles grow. Allow Podiatrist Dr. Vargas to examine your baby’s or child’s feet so that you can feel confident he or she will have no serious foot or ankle problems later in life. Here are some other walking and other behaviors you might notice that you should seek advice for:
Of course, if you have a family history of foot problems, once your child begins walking, you should definitely bring them in to see a pediatric foot doctor in Sugar Land or Houston, TX, like Dr. Vargas to be sure their feet develop normally.
As your child’s feet grow and develop, you need to change their shoe and sock size to make sure their feet have room to grow. Although most children’s foot problems result from injury, family genes, deformities, or illness, shoes that do not fit right can aggravate tiny feet and lead to serious problems. Always measure your child’s feet before you buy their shoes and make sure the shoe fits the foot.
Do not let your child wear “hand-me-down” shoes. The shoes their sibling or cousin wore have molded to their own feet. They will not be a comfortable fit for your child. Also, when children share shoes they can spread nail fungus or athlete’s foot!
Pay attention to signs of foot irritation. If your child’s feet look red, it is likely their shoe is too tight or too loose. If they want to take off their shoes all the time, it might be their way of telling you that their feet hurt. At least once a week, take a look at the heels of your young child’s shoes. If your child points toes inward when he or she walks, the heels will show signs of uneven wear. This could indicate a foot problem that Dr. Vargas should evaluate for your child’s long term safety and well-being.
Never try to force a child to walk before they feel ready. They will walk on their own when they feel comfortable and stable enough to stand and step. Also, do not compare their progress to other children’s. Did you know that some babies begin walking at 10 months old, while others can take up to 8 months longer? Some children feel happy to crawl about until they are over a year and a half old, and for some, that is perfectly acceptable. If they have not taken their first steps by that time though, we recommend calling Dr. Vargas so that he can inspect their feet for any problems!
When indoors, allow toddlers to walk barefoot. This will allow their feet to grow normally and grow strong muscles, as well as to develop a grasping action with their toes. Naturally, if they go outside or the floor is rough or dangerous, you should protect your baby’s feet with flexible, lightweight shoes made from natural materials that breathe. If you are not sure about your baby’s shoes, please bring them to us to evaluate them. Our pediatric foot doctors in Sugar Land and Houston, TX, will be delighted to help you find just the right shoes for baby!