Jul 21, 2019
Healthy children's feet - What parents can do for the healthy development of children's feet
Healthy children's feet are mostly taken for granted. At birth, 98% of all children are born with healthy feet. Only in the course of childhood do complaints develop in the foot apparatus. Thus, only about 40% still have healthy feet in adulthood. Here you can find out what you can do to ensure that your child's foot remains healthy as he or she grows older.
Every third child wears shoes that are too small
During a Bavaria-wide study by the BKK on foot health in children, 1500 children's feet were orthopedically examined. The results were alarming: 70% of the children wore inappropriate footwear. 23% had pressure sores, nail fungus, warts and similar complaints.
Every third child in Germany wears shoes that are too small. One reason for this is certainly that children do not notice the unsuitable shoe. The bones of their feet are still soft and malleable.
As a result, the foot adapts to the shoe that is too small or too tight instead of reacting with painful stimuli. However, this often results in malpositions. This results in shortened muscles, toe malposition and postural restrictions.
Therefore, my first and most important piece of advice is to measure your child's feet regularly. Your child's foot can grow up to three shoe sizes each year. Therefore, measure your child's feet at least every six months, ideally even every three months. By the way, matching socks should also be purchased regularly with the new shoes.
How to measure children's feet correctly
Does the shoe still fit or does it need to be replaced? You can determine your child's shoe size yourself at home. This way you can quickly find out if the shoe still fits or if a visit to the shoe store is necessary. By the way, you can also have the shoe size measured in the shoe store.
At home, you can determine the size as follows:
- Take a sheet of paper, a pen and some tape.
- Attach the piece of paper to the floor.
- Take your child to it and let him put his foot on the paper.
- Now trace the shape of the foot. Place the pencil as vertically as possible and create your template.
- Now add a maximum of 17 mm, but at least 12 mm, to the tip of the foot.
- Now repeat the process with the other foot. Children's feet can be of different lengths. In this case, use the larger foot as a guide.
- Now you already have your child's foot size. You can find the corresponding shoe size in a shoe size chart.
- To determine whether the child's shoe used is still suitable, cut out your drawing and simply insert the template into the shoe.
- If the paper lies smoothly inside the shoe, the shoe is still ideal. If the paper curves only slightly, everything is still okay. At the next opportunity, however, a larger shoe should be made. If you see a clear bulge or do not get the paper completely laid out in the shoe, it is high time to buy a shoe!
Let your child run barefoot as often as possible. Barefoot running is especially recommended on uneven surfaces, such as a meadow or a sandy beach. This strengthens the child's feet, the foot muscles are strengthened and the arch of the foot is stabilized.
Children's barefoot shoes support the development of the foot and also protect it from sharp and dangerous objects.
Games for healthy children's feet
You can promote foot health and maintain foot dexterity with games for healthy children's feet. Children's feet are very dexterous. At toddler age, children can use their toes almost like their fingers.
Why not let your child paint with their feet? Stick a sheet of paper on the wall or on the floor. With tape, you can attach the pen to the foot or even let your child, using finger paints, paint with their toes. Surely create unique works of art, your child will have fun and the foot will remain healthy.
Or you can play toe-tapping with your child. Tie a towel together for this purpose. Tie a knot in the middle and make a mark on the floor.
Now sit down opposite each other. Grasp the cloth with your toes. Each has one end. Now both pull hard and try to pull the knot to your side of the marker. Be warned: children's feet can grip quite well with their toes, while the cloth can quickly slip out of your toes!