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Podiatry for Children (Podopaediatrics)

Children are not 'mini adults' and the child's foot is not a small scale replica of the adult foot. The child's foot adapts to change so any changes within the child's body that affect the spine, pelvis and lower limb will have a knock on effect on the foot, altering its posture either temporarily or permanently. Any deformities within the foot would also have a similar effect on the rest of the body, so it is very important that any changes are monitored and managed to allow normal growth and development of the lower limb.

Children's feet go through stages of growth and change the same as any other part of the body. However it should be remembered that all children are different and the age ranges for each stage of development have quite wide parameters, but if you are particularly worried about your child's feet, then seeking advice from either your GP, health visitor or a podiatrist should put your mind at rest. They will be able to advise you on any problems, and due to the infant foot being very malleable it should allow many congenital deformities to be corrected easily.

Most children are born with normal feet, and it is advised that to allow normal growth and development feet should be left uncovered and unrestricted until they are walking competently out doors. So the use of tight restrictive bedclothes and shoes should be avoided.

Average normal stages of development

  • Sitting unaided 6-8 months
  • Crawling 9 months
  • Walking with assistance 12 months
  • Walking independently 15 months
  • Running 18-24 months

Keep in mind that some children never crawl, some bottom shuffle, and some bear walk on all fours, but most crawl in the recognised manner.

If you have any doubts about your child's development or foot shape do not hesitate to get advice.

 

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