During school holiday periods we see a particular increase in the number of children attending The Podiatry Practice. One of the most common concerns we hear from their parents is an observation of flat feet and how this will affect their child’s growth, participation in sport and adult life.
Children are born with flexible flat feet that usually develop a normal arch by ten years of age. Before the age of three, there is a fat pad on the inside of the arch of the foot that acts to hide the arch.
Due to being mostly made up of cartilage, a child’s foot is more susceptible to abnormal forces that are produced by flat feet, which can lead to permanent structural change that continues into adulthood.
Often, if the feet are flexible, a flat arch in children will not require orthotic treatment. However, if your child experiences pain, the foot is rigid (not flexible) or a normal arch does not develop it is important to have a podiatrist examine them for further complications. They may require treatment to support the arch of the foot and reduce the risk of subsequent joint problems later in life. Some children are born with a congenital condition called a ‘tarsal coalition’ which will often require an operation to correct the problem.
A thorough assessment is also recommended if any close relatives have had painful flat feet as a child or an adult.
If you feel your child needs their feet checked call The Podiatry Practice on 3391 3900 to arrange an appointment with one of our podiatrists today.