Learn about caring for your child's feet from your Ridgewood pediatric podiatrist!
Your child's feet are two of the most important, yet often overlooked, parts of their body. Taking proper care of your child's feet will help you ensure that they don't experience any problems that can affect their development. Dr. Henry Slomowitz, your Ridgewood, NJ pediatric podiatrist, shares a few important foot care tips.
The first year of life
- Skip shoes, no matter how cute they are, when your child is a baby. Wearing shoes or soft booties can interfere with the normal development of the feet and toes.
- Don't wrap blankets tightly around your baby's feet.
- Let your baby practice walking barefoot, as long as it's safe to do so.
- Give your baby plenty of time to kick and move around. Kicking and other motions strengthen muscles needed for walking.
One to three years
- Continue to allow your toddler to walk without shoes when possible.
- Choose soft, flexible shoes to allow proper arch and muscle development.
- Make sure shoes fit properly. If they're too small or too large, your child may trip frequently or pull off the shoes the first chance they get.
- Evaluate your child's gait. It takes a little while for many toddlers to develop a normal gait and many are toe walkers at first. If toe walking continues, or you notice any other walking problems, consult with us.
Four years and older
- Make sure shoes offer adequate support and protection. Wearing flip flops and other flimsy types of shoes too often may often damage your child's feet.
- Stay away from hand-me-downs. Shoes may look perfectly fine, but since shoes mold to the wearer's feet, used shoes are not a good choice for healthy foot development.
- Discourage shoe sharing or trying on a friend's shoes. Sharing shoes can spread toenail and athlete's foot fungus.
- Pay particular attention to the fit of cleats, turf shoes and other sports shoes. If your child participates in sports, shoes must provide adequate foot and ankle support to reduce the risk of injuries.
Are you concerned about an issue with your child's feet? Call Dr. Slomowitz, your Ridgewood, NJ pediatric podiatrist to schedule an appointment.