Feet Care For Children

The younger the child, the more important it is to ensure that their shoes are correctly fitted. If you cannot find a shop which specializes in fitting children’s shoes, ask at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to

see the Children’s Foot Health Register, which lists shops which stock shoes in various fittings, and which have specially trained staff to measure your child’s feet.

Sizes of shoes can vary between different manufacturers, so just specifying the shoe size you want is not enough. The feet must be measured in each shop, on each occasion you buy shoes. Make sure both feet are measured, as some children have feet which differ by as much as two sizes.

A correctly fitted shoe allows about 1.5 cm (½ in) between the longest toe (which may not be the big toe) and the end of the shoe. The toes should be able to spread under the child’s weight as it stands, without being restricted by the side of the shoe. At the same time, the shoe should not slip about as the child walks.

This is particularly painful and damaging if poor fit allows the heel of the shoe to rub up and down at the back of the foot, where it will cause a painful callous.

Resign yourself to having to buy new shoes at frequent intervals; for children of three to four years, they should last for about three months, and for five to ten years, for up to six months. They may well need changing at lesser intervals, however.

It goes without saying that fancy fashion shoes do no good to the feet, appealing though they are to a fashion-conscious child.

It is also important to remember that too-tight socks can also constrict a child’s feet and be as uncomfortable as shoes which are too small. When buying a new pair of shoes it might also be useful to check your child’s supply of socks. The same can apply to ‘baby-grows’. While your baby might still fit into the arms and body, the feet could be getting tight and painful. Sometimes children may suffer from dropped arches or flat feet. This can be helped by foot exercises and by wearing the right shoes.