I’m a girl who loves living in her flip flops and sandals and while I do wear heels at work and for fancy nights out, most of my walking is done with bad for you cheapo flip flops. I know this isn’t good for my back, my feet or my overall well being but gosh darn it, it’s so comfy! I’ll wear them into winter only switching to boots after the first snow storm.
However when it came to the kids, I ensured that they wore the “right” types of shoes and in fact, recently shared with you our experience with Pedi Ped footwear. Couple weeks ago I received an email telling me that I could have any of my foot questions answered by Toronto podiatrist Dr. Hartley Miltchin – also professionally know as Dr. Toe and the Bunion King!
I really didn’t want to be lectured about my own bad habits so I decided to ask some questions about kids and what we need to be aware of as we raise our future generations. We want them to put their best foot forward, after all! Below are the tips I received.
Top 5 things to keep an eye out for when it comes to children’s feet (specifically the toddler/JK ages)
- When children are outdoors, in the sun, use a 30 SPF sunscreen to prevent burning but don’t forget to apply to the top portion of the feet as that area is quite sensitive to painful sunburn. Make sure to reapply after swimming. Opps! You must see Baby Boy’s tan lines!
- It is not uncommon to see the skin on children’s feet dry and peeling due to excessive perspiration attributable to their active lifestyle. Moisture loss must be replenished in order to keep skin supple, soft and free of peeling. Since skin on the feet is approximately 20 times thicker than other body skin, one must use a moisturizer specifically formulated to the feet. One such product, new to the market and very effective is CeraVe Foot Moisturizing Cream. This product has a unique set of natural ingredients that replenishes the skins normal structure. CeraVe also has a patented, proprietary method to allow the ingredients to re moisturize for up to 24 hours after only one application. This is a cream I’ve been using on Baby Boy and Little Monkey for a good while now, but never thought to rub it on their feet!!
- Make sure children are wearing appropriate foot wear when outside to protect feet from foreign objects that may cause injury. It is especially important to wear water shoes, which will protect feet from objects found at the bottom of lakes or oceans. Little Monkey has been wearing water shoes from a young age but as she gets older we’ve been lazy!
- If children are going to walk extensively, (amusement parks etc.), flip flops, sandals are not ideal, as feet require better support and shock absorption. Breathable athletic style shoes are more suited for extended walking, even in warm weather.
- Always examine the bottom of the feet for small, raised areas that may include small black dots. This usually indicates a plantars wart, which is a viral condition. It is highly contagious and should be seen by a Podiatrist immediately as it can spread very easily and is quite difficult to treat. Examine in between toes for red, cracking, itchy skin, especially between the small toe and the next toe as this can indicate a fungal infection known as Athlete’s Foot and must be treated by a Podiatrist as soon as possible as it can spread.
Top points to focus on when purchasing shoes for young kids
- When purchasing children’s shoes, ignore the high top leather booties, grandparents usually recommend. It is far better to buy children athletic style shoes that fit properly. It is best to go to a store that specializes in fitting children’s shoes.
- Look for a stiff heel counter. A solid heel counter is stiff when pressed side to side and will control the child’s feet in a secure position.
- Look for a shoe that is 1 thumbs width longer than the child’s longest toes, not just the big toe. The reason is to ensure proper length is because many individuals have toes which extend longer than the big toe. If the shoe is too short, smaller toes can curl up and create problems.
- Avoid shoes with leather soles as they don’t offer any shock absorption. Dress shoes with leather soles should only be worn for short periods of time, at special occasions.
- Never pass on shoes to younger siblings as they may be too worn or don’t fit properly. Opps! Guilty as charged!
We take our children to the dentist to check their teeth and proactively prevent tooth decay. We take our children to the optometrist to make sure their eyes are functioning adequately. We should take our children to the Podiatrist around 2.5 years of age to exam feet/legs for genetic or hereditary problems. Adult foot problems begin in childhood and if mechanical/structural problems are diagnosed early enough, they can often be treated to avoid foot problems later. Podiatrists are well qualified to provide treatment, shoe advice, exercises and more. Family doctors and pediatricians are not as well trained to exam or treat feet and that is why it is recommended that children are assessed early by Podiatrists. All that said.. we’re yet to see a podiatrist AND Baby Boy at 2.5 is yet to meet a dentist or optometrist! Talk about bad parenting!