Does My Child Have Flat Feet?

Aug 31, 2021

High arches and fallen arches can cause a lot of different problems. From the feet themselves, the knees and even the back, these issues can cause us a great deal of pain. It’s understandable therefore that you may be worried that your child has flat feet. 

Fortunately, the arch is rarely a problem in children. In this blog, we will outline the signs that suggest it may be an issue, as well as those worrying signs that are actually harmless.

Up to 2 Years

All babies are born different. Some are born tiny and smooth, while others are born with thick locks of hair and plumpish. At this stage, their bodies are still growing, and extremely flexible.

There is no reason to be alarmed if their feet seem flat and pudgy. Baby fat on the bottom of the heels is actually quite common, so don’t be alarmed if it seems like there is a total lack of arches.

2 – 6 Years

If your child is over two years old and still shows no signs of any arches, it’s still not time to start worrying. You may be worried now that the child has started walking, particularly if they appear to be walking funny.

While many children will have clearly defined arches, many will still be forming theirs, which can continue up until the age of 8 in some cases.

If you are worried about your child’s arches there is no harm in bringing them into your Podiatrist for an assessment.

6+ Years

If your child is over 6 years old and still shows no signs of arches, it is probably time to consider getting a medical opinion. While it is still perfectly possible that their arches are just slow to appear, most kids will have clearly defined arches at this point.

There are two main signs to look out for at this stage.

The first is pronation, which is when a person walks on the inner-sides of their feet, rather than on their soles. Your Podiatrist will look at your child walking in a straight line and one of the many things they will look out for is if there is too much pronation. This is a common symptom in people with fallen or undeveloped arches.

The second sign to watch out for is pain. Some children experience growing pains but if the pain is caused by an issue in the feet, it may be due to fallen arches or the pronation movement I spoke about. 

In most cases, a lack of clearly visible arches is nothing to worry about in children. Many times, it will be a false alarm, and the arches will show up eventually of their own accord.

Other times, insoles or orthotics may be needed to correct the issue.

Even if this is the case, there is no reason to worry. Your child will adjust to these as easily as they adjusted to shoes and socks, and will likely come to prefer wearing them.

 

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