While kitten heels may be all the rage for pint-size fashionistas, any type of elevated shoe is not appropriate for a growing child’s foot for a variety of reasons. High heels are bad for circulation by shortening muscles in calves which help pump blood out of the legs and back to the heart. High heels can also negatively impact a child’s developing gait pattern. With muscles developing and growing during childhood, high heels can cause problems in the legs and back, shorten the Achilles tendon, and possibly increase the risk of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and Morton’s neuroma. A child’s balance will also be compromised when wearing high heels, which can contribute to falls and other injuries. For more insight on how high heels can affect feet of all ages, as well as advice on appropriate footwear and foot care, contact a podiatrist.
The health of a child’s feet is vital to their overall well-being. If you have any questions regarding foot health, contact Matthew McQuaid, DPM of Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
Tips for Keeping Children's Feet Healthy
- Make sure their shoes fit properly
- Look for any signs of in-toeing or out-toeing
- Check to see if they have Clubfoot (condition that affects your child’s foot and ankle, twisting the heel and toes inward) which is one of the most common nonmajor birth defects.
- Lightly cover your baby’s feet (Tight covers may keep your baby from moving their feet freely, and could prevent normal development)
- Allow your toddler to go shoeless (Shoes can be restricting for a young child’s foot)
- Cut toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails
- Keep your child’s foot clean and dry
- Cover cuts and scrapes. Wash any scratches with soap and water and cover them with a bandage until they’ve healed.