We've compiled a list of points every parent should know about their child's feet. They are delicate, important and are going through a lot of stress every day.
Children's feet are made up of soft, flexible cartilage which gradually turns to bone by the time they turn 5 years old. It is not till the age of 18 that these bones are fully formed. Therefore, a child's foot is more prone to risk from injury and deformity due to ill-fitting footwear and great care must be taken protecting and developing the feet in this formative period.
• A child's feet perspire twice / thrice as much as compared to an adult's feet and so, need to breathe to stay healthy. It is advisable, therefore, to choose footwear in materials that allow the feet to breathe.
• A child's feet handle more stress than the average adult foot. Good footwear that has good shock absorption, and flexibility are therefore more important for children's footwear.
• Arch support needs for children are different than the arch support required for adults, since for babies the arch will usually not be visible or developed for the first 2 years. Therefore, arch support before the age of 2 is not required.
• Children's feet have a higher surface area to volume ratio and so lose heat more quickly and so can be colder than adults in the same ambient temperature.
The foot is an integral body part that supports the entire skeletal structure. Without proper footwear, a child is put at risk for injury and deformity later in life. Many problems with posture, walking, and even back pain can be associated with ill-fitting or poorly made footwear.