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Do Kids Need Treatment For Flat Feet?

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If your child has been diagnosed as having flat feet, you may be wondering how you can fix the problem. The options open to you typically depend on your child's age and ability to cope with this foot condition.

Flat Feet and Development

According to myDr, it's not unusual for younger kids to have flat feet. Sometimes, this is a developmental issue that rights itself by the time kids are around 7 years old. If your child is under this age and doesn't seem affected by having flat feet, you may be advised to take a wait-and-see approach.

It may also be a good idea to schedule check-up appointments with your podiatrist to keep an eye on how things develop. This way, you can move quickly if the situation doesn't sort itself out or starts to be a problem for your child.

Warning Signs

According to healthdirect Australia, people with flat feet don't necessarily go on to develop any other problems with their feet and the condition may never affect their daily lives. Children who have flexible ligaments in their feet are less likely to need intervention and you may be told that treatment isn't necessary. However, kids with flat feet may need treatment if their foot ligaments are more rigid.

For example, your child's flat feet may need treatment or additional help if you notice some or all of the following issues:

  • Your child complains of pain in their feet or legs.
  • Your child has motor control problems, such as falling or tripping for no apparent reason.
  • Your child can't keep up with other kids of the same age and gets tired more easily.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should consult your podiatrist or doctor to see if the feet need treatment.

Treatments for Flat Feet

The standard treatment for painful or problematic flat feet is orthotic devices such as arch supports or insoles. These help relieve strain on the feet and legs. In some cases, your podiatrist may also recommend a program of exercises that may help fix your child's problems by stretching and strengthening the foot and its ligaments.

Your podiatrist may also talk to you about the types of shoes your child wears regularly and give you advice on how to make sure that any shoes you buy in the future fit correctly. For example, shoes that are too tight or short may make your child's foot pain worse.

You may find it useful to take along any shoes your child wears regularly to your podiatry assessment so that your podiatrist can check them out.