Are you worried about the way your child is walking? Do they trip and fall or struggle to balance? Do they complain of getting tired quickly or want to be continuously picked up? Here are a few symptoms parents can keep an eye out for.
Intoeing (Pigeon toes)
This is when a child’s feet point inwards toward each other often affecting balance and stability while walking about. Most children’s feet end up pointing straight by the time they are 2 years of age but if symptoms do persists it is not unusual for this condition to last and then rectify itself by the age of 8 or 9 before causing concern.
Intoeing is thought to be caused by either hip ante version (inward turning of hips) femoral torsion (inward rotation of upper leg) or tibia torsion (inward rotation of lower leg) often presenting with bowed legs or knocked knees.
Conditions associated with this may be metatarsus adductus or 'club foot' deformity which could be more permanent if not treated, if you are unsure seek an assessment from a podiatrist to alleviate or confirm any concerns and recommend a treatment plan.
Flat feet describes when the inside of the foot from the heel to the big touch touches the floor without a natural arch. This is quite normal for children between the ages of 1-5 with around 5% continuing with flat feet in to their teenage years. Usually flat feet do not cause pain or hamper a child’s ability to walk or exercise but on occasion it might lead to a rolling in of the ankle and an unstable foot meaning correct footwear or orthotic inserts may be required to combat any problems.
Tip toeing can be seen as a normal stage in your child’s walking development as it helps with balance. This usually occurs between the ages of 10-18 months but can be seen as late on as 6 years old, however more often than not it resolves naturally. The cause of tip toeing is unknown but could involve congenital tight muscles, neurological or developmental issues or simply habit from a young age. If any symptoms are present with this condition or you are worried about your child’s walking a podiatrist could suggest footwear, prescribe insoles or advise an exercise routine to help lengthen the calf muscles.
If you would like any advice or assurance on any of the above conditions or any other aspect of your child’s foot care contact Heal Foot Clinic for a professional opinion and get the care and advice your child deserves.