As a parent, you want the very best for your children.
You want them to grow up happy and healthy and you know that you play an important role in doing this, however, often this can leave you worrying whether or not you are doing the best for your precious little ones.
You seek advice from family and friends, read articles, blogs and magazines on what you should be doing and it can be somewhat overwhelming, even leave you feeling guilty at times…
Remember, nothing is black and white and to trust your instinct, it will always guide you in the right direction.
As part of your super parent role, it’s important to keep an eye on your little one’s feet and ensure they are wearing the right size shoes to maintain their foot health as they grow into strong, healthy individuals.
Wearing the right size shoe for their feet will prevent stunted growth, injuries, and damage as their feet grow.
There is research written as to the rate at which your child’s feet will grow according to their age and they are just that…guidelines.
Your little ones are unique and not all children hit growth spurts at the same time. Their feet may grow slower or faster than the recommended guidelines and should not cause you panic.
Here is a quick look at how fast children’s feet grow:
How often should you change your child’s shoes will depend on how quickly their feet are growing.
Have your child’s feet measured every 2 to 3 months until toddler years, then every 3 to 4 months after that.
If you find that your little one’s feet are growing very quickly, then measure them every 6 weeks.
The sole of the shoe should be easily flexible and not rigid. It should bend at the ball of the foot (toebreak) without any effort and not bend in the middle of the shoe.
Usually, the younger your child, the thinner and more flexible the soles should be.
When your child is standing in a new shoe, you should be able to press roughly a finger’s width, between the longest toe (1st or 2nd) and the front of the shoe. The area of the shoe just below the laces should crease when your little one takes a step.
The heel counter at the back of the shoe should be firm when you squeeze both sides, and should not collapse.
The upper part of the shoe should be made of breathable materials such as leather, rather than buying synthetic material shoes, and the insoles should be cushioned for comfort.
Wait until your child begins walking before buying them their first pair of shoes. Your little one’s tiny feet are very delicate in the first year of growth, and going barefoot will encourage natural and strong foot development. If your baby’s feet need protection for hygiene purposes or for warmth, booties and loose-fitting socks will be adequate.
Try your best not to hand down shoes. If a shoe fits one child comfortably, it doesn’t mean it will do the same with your other children. Handing down footwear can harm your child’s walking patterns and also risk cross infection of athletes foot, verruca, and nail fungus. If the shoes have not been worn often and have not altered the flexibility and wear patterns of the shoe, then handing down is possible.
If your child is constantly kicking off one or both shoes, this may be an unspoken sign that their shoes are causing pain and discomfort. Check for signs of redness as this is usually a good indication that the shoes may be too tight or too loose.
If your child complains of foot pain or discomfort, schedule a check-up with your local podiatrist.
It all depends on how quickly your little one’s feet are growing, by measuring them on a regular basis will give you peace of mind and ensure their feet grow and develop properly while wearing the right shoes for their feet.
What has your experience been when it comes to shoe shopping for your little ones? How often are you currently changing their shoes?
Leave your comments in the box below.