There are 26 bones in each foot, and they are designed in a complex way to support the body, absorb shock while walking and running, and conform to specific surfaces. When babies are born, their feet are mostly cartilage, which will harden into bones at approximately 13 years of age. The bones will develop gradually, and it is beneficial for them to wear shoes that fit properly when walking begins. Research has indicated the feet grow the fastest in the first three years, and may grow up to nine sizes during that time. Greater activity levels in children produce more stress in the feet than adults, and it is suggested that shoes which have extra cushioning be worn during the early years. Children’s shoes may show wear and tear faster than adult’s shoes, and this may be the result of excess sweating that occurs during physical activities. There are many choices to consider when purchasing children’s shoes, and it is advised that you speak with a podiatrist who can help you to make the right decision for your children’s feet.
The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact one of our podiatrists of Foot & Ankle Institute at One Oak Medical. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
- Make sure their shoes fit properly
- Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
- Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
- Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
- Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
- Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
- Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Wayne, Paramus, Clifton, Montclair, Clifton, Edison, and Randolph, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.