It is important as a parent for you to keep an eye on your toddler’s feet. Looking after them at this time will be helpful for you to protect the feet from succumbing to foot problems in the future.
The bones in the feet are flexible and soft for any newborn baby. They gradually harden over time. The development will only take place when the baby reaches his or her teenage.
In newborns, the feet are flat. However, over a period, the arch development takes place, which is a crucial posture. The arch in the feet acts as shock absorbers and provides the necessary balance to the entire weight of the body. It is possible that your toddler will develop any of the following three shapes:
- Tapered – big toe is the biggest of all other toes
- Rounded – either the second or the third toe is longer than the big toe
- Square – all the toes are about the same length
It is important as a parent for you to allow the toddlers feet to develop naturally. Enable the toddler to spend time without the shoes so that the baby achieves the task of exercising the muscles in the feet. You can encourage and participate in the activity by allowing the child to flex and stretch the feet by tickling.
Rather than using shoes, it is preferable to go with the socks or tights made from cotton or cotton and wool mix. They provide the required space and room for development. It is important for you to check the size of the socks, especially if you are using the washing machine. There is every reason for the material to shrink, which can become tight and restrict the growth of the feet. Even if your toddler is not walking, ensure that any soft boots that you choose have lots of room for the free movement of the toes. Caring for your child’s feet is as important as her health.
Wash the feet of your toddler thoroughly and allow them to dry naturally. Ensure that they are dry between the toes. It is feasible to use talcum powder in between the toes that will help in keeping the feet dry and healthy. Do not add any excessive powder, as it can become a clump between the toes.
Do not be in a rush to buy the first pair of shoes for your toddler. Shoes are only necessary when the toddler is ready to walk. You have at least two years in your hand before the baby becomes confident in taking the first steps. Even if your toddler begins walking, allow her to walk freely without the additions of shoes. Walking barefoot will be helpful in strengthening the muscles in the feet without restriction. However, it is important that you keep the floor safe and clean.
Check frequently for the foot problems that arise from time to time. The following are the common foot problems that you should watch for:
- Blisters – caused due to new or ill-fitting shoes
- Ingrowing toenails – they occur when the nails grow into the surrounding flesh. Be careful about how you cut your toddler’s nails. An appropriate approach will prevent them from becoming ingrowing toenails.
- Athlete’s foot – it is a fungal infection causing itchy moist rash between the toes. The occurrence is rare. However, there is a possibility that it might occur if you allow your child to swim consistently on a regular basis.
Although full development problems occur, they are minor ailments and resolve themselves over a period. Nonetheless, they may need a treatment depending on the degree of the problem. Flat feet, in-toeing, out-toeing, toe walking, and Talipes are the typical developmental foot conditions. If you suspect a development problem, it is preferable to visit a foot specialist to avoid future problems.
If you look after the feet of your toddler properly from the start, you will be able to prevent problems in later stages. If you detect flat feet, you can search for the best insoles for flat feet that will support and help in developing the arch, which in the future will become the normal feet.