Right from the start, most of us are blessed with healthy feet. However, problems can start to develop in this area of the body for a number of reasons, and often in the early stages of life. Poor foot care, inappropriate footwear and problems in early development are just some of the reasons why podiatrists like McLean & Partners are in such high demand and why their advice is sought out by many parents. Looking after your baby's feet in the right way is essential to future development and could help to prevent some of the common ailments treated by podiatrists today.
Foot Care, First Steps And First Shoes
The early years of development are often the most important when it comes to healthy foot care. Problems experienced at this time can be irreversible if not addressed early on by parents, or treated by podiatrists or chiropodists. At birth and until around their first birthday, a baby's foot is very different from an adult's foot, and extra care must be taken.
Here are some ways you can ensure that your baby's feet develop in the right way:
- Use special nail scissors to trim toenails. Cut gently in a straight line to promote proper growth of the nail.
- Use soft baby shoes until your baby starts walking. Hard shoes can obstruct the natural growth of your baby's feet and are not really necessary until they are walking. This is not only a good idea for your baby, but for your income too. Baby's feet can grow at an alarming rate!
- Arranging for your baby's feet to be professionally measured will ensure the first pair of shoes fits well and allows plenty of room for growth. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends that a child's feet should be measured once every few months.
Common Parent Anxieties And Treatments Offered By Podiatrists
Parents can often become concerned with the way their baby walks or that they are not walking at the same time as their peers. All babies develop at a different rate. Some babies may walk at 10 months while others may decide that crawling is preferable until they are 18 months of age. One common anxiety amongst parents is when they see that their baby is walking flat-footed. This is entirely normal in the early stages of development and actually helps to build muscle strength and give the baby a more stable base until development is complete.
If your baby still displays signs of flat-footedness as they develop into a toddler, it may be a good idea to look up local podiatrists for advice. A podiatrist may recommend relevant exercises or that corrective insoles are worn for a number of months.
Visiting your local podiatrists may also be necessary if your child has a habit of walking with their toes pointing inwards or outwards. This can be a relatively simple problem to solve with the right footwear and exercises