It has been our experience that proper care and treatment of the feet, beginning in childhood, will prevent many of the mechanical and orthopedic problems seen in adults. Preventive medicine in the field of podiatric medicine is just as important to your child as it is in dentistry or general medicine. Many children walk excessively pigeon toed, flat footed, or bowlegged. Although they are not in pain, they are damaging their feet.
Most babies begin life with their toes point slightly out. However, if the unborn baby lies with its feet pressed against the womb the wrong way, it can be born with its feet turned inward. The condition can make learning to walk difficult. Tripping may be the first sign of toeing in.
Toeing in can often be corrected through stretching exercises. The podiatrist can teach parents some simple exercises that can help straighten out a baby's feet. The exercises take minutes a day, and they are performed until the problem is corrected.
In some instances, plaster casts can be used to coax a baby's feet back into normal position. Just as braces gradually reposition teeth, casts gradually reposition feet. The casts are changed periodically until the podiatrist determines that the feet are properly aligned.
Many babies naturally appear flatfooted. Usually, this will disappear as the baby begins to stand and walk.
Children with flat feet, or low arches, may not be able to keep up with other children because of the added strain on feet and legs.
Orthotic devices can be used to maintain proper foot support. They are made of plastic and must be refitted as the child grows older. Orthotics help to realign the foot and distribute body weight evenly.
HAVE PROBLEMS CHECKED
If you suspect any foot problems, have a podiatrist examine your child. You may spare your child further problems later in life!