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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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"Prevention is Better than Correction"

Children with strong, healthy feet avoid many kinds of lower extremity problems later in life. That's why it is important to inspect your children's feet periodically. Many foot problems are hereditary: parents with foot problems have a 50% chance of passing along similar conditions to their children.

Infants

The size and shape of your baby's feet change quickly during their first year. Because a baby's feet are flexible, too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of their feet. It's important to allow baby to kick and stretch their feet freely. Also, make sure shoes and socks do not squeeze the toes.

Toddlers

Do not to force a toddler to walk before s/he is ready. Once walking begins, watch the toddler's gait. Many toddlers have a pigeon-toe gait, which can be normal. Some initially learn to walk landing on their toes instead of their heels. In many quarters, treatment  has not been recommended because it is thought that children outgrow both these problems. Depending on the stage of development, this is often not the case and some form of treatment is advisable.

Up to the age of 4, children have a fat pad under their arch, making them look flat.  Looking from the rear, toddlers heels do tend to roll out (evert) up to a point, and this should gradually resolve and be more normal (vertical) by the time they're about 5-6.  Past the age of 4, there can be what is known as a Developmental Flat Foot, which can be evidenced by poor coordination, balance, posture and strength.  It can also be a reason children walk on their toes.  This is a condition which children do NOT outgrow.

When Foot Care Is Needed

To help with flat feet, special shoes or orthotics may be prescribed. To correct mild in-toeing or out-toeing, your toddler may need to sit in a different position while playing or watching TV. The "W" sitting position causes the hips to rotate inward too mech and is a contributor to an intoe gait.  Often, a specialized version of an orthotic called a "gait plate" can help with intoe issues.

Foot pain is never normal. Foot pain is a clear indicator that there are foot troubles. However, keep in mind that pain in the ankles, legs, hips, knees and back may be red flags that there is a potential foot problem. In particular, younger children may not be able to verbalize thier discomfort, so their signals may be nonverbal:  asking to be picked up more than normal, being disinclined to participate in some activities and more.

The foot's bone structure is well-formed by the time your child reaches age 7 or 8, but if a growth plate (the area where bone growth begins) is injured, the damaged plate may cause the bone to grow oddly.  Injuries to the growth plate of the heel (Severs Disease/Calcaneal Apophysitis) is a common sports injury in the 9-14 year old age group in boys and girls.

Remember to check your child's shoe size often. Make sure there is space between the toes and the end of the shoe and that the shoes are roomy enough to allow the toes to move freely. Don't let your child wear hand-me-down shoes.

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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470