Your feet form the foundation for your body. Improper foot alignment can lead to pain in your knees, hips, and back. Your children are no different. If your child has improper foot alignment, they may be more vulnerable to injuries like stress fractures, low back pain, tendonitis, and shin splints.
Orthotics, or shoe inserts, provide feet with the support needed to correct for gait issues and prevent pain and discomfort.
Many children benefit from orthotics, especially customized types that are made especially for their gate and foot concerns. Kids often complain of aches and pains that are avoidable with the right shoe support.
Here’s when the podiatric specialists at Go Feet with offices in Mays Landing, and Linwood, New Jersey, recommend you consider orthotics for your child.
Why would my child need orthotics?
It’s sometimes mistakenly assumed that a child will outgrow any foot problems or pain. That type of thinking can lead to serious problems, however. The podiatrists at Go Feet observe how your child’s feet form and develop as they age. They can pinpoint any emerging issues that your child may have and intervene with orthotics before any injury or damage occurs.
What signs should I look for in my child’s feet?
Your child would benefit from a podiatric evaluation if they:
- Have feet that turn inward or outward
- Have flat feet or high arches
- Can’t keep up with their classmates
Your child may also benefit from orthotics if they regularly complain about pain in their feet, ankles, back, or knees. You may notice that they avoid running or walking, or they talk about pain during or after these activities. Children who have foot problems may want to be carried more than other children their age. Your child may avoid athletic activities because of how it feels in their feet and legs.
The signs that your child would benefit from orthotics are sometimes more subtle. Your child may not complain of pain, but might favor one leg over the other when walking. You may notice that they drag their feet or trip often.
Is my child old enough for orthotics?
Children as young as 12 months old can benefit from orthotics. Most children, however, benefit from orthotics when they are 2 or older. If your child hasn’t started walking by the time they turn 2, they’d benefit from a podiatry visit, too.
Other ages at which a child’s need for orthotics may become obvious are around the age of 3, when they develop a heel-to-toe gait, when they start school, or when they start playing organized sports.
Why are customized orthotics superior?
You can pick up a pair of orthotics for your child at the local drug store, but these aren’t made for their feet. You can guess at what is the root cause of their foot pain or dysfunction, but only a visit to a qualified podiatrist can help you be sure they’re getting the foot support they need.
Our podiatrists perform a comprehensive assessment of your child’s feet and recommend the best options to help your child’s comfort, growth, and development.
We will regularly reevaluate how the orthotics are working and adjust them as your child grows.