So you're tickling your little one's toes and notice that his feet are remarkably flat... For a moment you're shocked, but you convince yourself that somehow the arch will appear when he starts walking, so you set him down. Hmm... That's funny. I don't see an arch. So you stick your finger into where the arch should be to poke and prod trying to find it. It isn't there. Oh no! My toddler has flat feet!! Should I be worried??
Are you tickling those little toes in spite of an unpleasant smell? You shouldn't need to live that way! Great for babies, kids, teens, and even adults Silly Feet has just what you require to deodorize. Try out a super effective foot deodorizing spray and an equally fantastic shoe deodorizing powder!
Absolutely nothing to worry about! Babies pop out with more than a few parts that still need to fuse. This is one of the reason that kiddos are so flexible. Let me toss some numbers at you. Babies are born with 300 bones, and by the time they grow into adulthood that number will be reduced to 206! Now that's a lot of fusion that needs to happen in a relatively short time. 47 pairs of bones will join to form what is the skeleton we adult humans know and love.
So where do feet fall into the equation? I'm glad you asked! Today we're talking all about flat-footed toddlers and when their little feet bones might finally fuse in order to create a mighty arch. Some kids will inevitable end up flat footed, but it's a pretty rare occurrence if your kids are observing a proper diet and have shoes that fit properly. So don't worry! Today we're going to break down why toddlers have flat feet, and when they should start developing their arches.
Are my toddler's feet actually flat?
I suppose the title of this article is something of a misnomer. Your baby very likely does have the beginnings of an arch, but it is covered by a layer of adorable baby fat. When a toddler stands up his feet will look even flatter than they will when sticking up in the air because the muscles and bones of the foot haven't completed development. If you hold your little one up and make them stand on tip-toe then you'll be able to see the arches without much trouble.
Rate of development
Kids develop at extremely different rates so this is nothing but a brief overview of when you might start to see certain milestones. While your baby is tiny, the only glimpse of her arches comes from the tip-toe technique, however eventually the arches will become more pronounced. Anywhere from 2 to 3 years old you should be able to take note of the arches. The foot will continue from here, fusing bones and developing stronger muscles. This comes in exchange for a bit less of that baby-flexibility, but it's certainly worth the trade-off.
Eventually the arches should be extremely noticeable for anyone taking even a brief glance. You can expect your child to reach this stage at around 6 or 7 years old. Those gorgeous arches must be maintained through diet, exercise, and shoes that aren't too small or large. I've never seen a kid pay this sort of thing any attention so it's all up to you. Make sure that they're on the right track, or there could be serious health consequences for your bundle of joy.
These feet truly are flat!
Now, I'm not going to sit here and say that it's impossible for your toddler to have flat feet. As many as 3 out of every 10 kids can have flat feet depending on which study you're looking at. If your family has a genetic disposition towards flat footedness there isn't much that can be done to prevent that. Some children do develop flat feet due to an overly-tight Achilles tendon. If that is the case talk with your doctor and he can recommend some heel-stretching exercises that might not cure the flat foot itself, but will certainly assist with any pain that comes alongside it.
Treating a toddler's flat foot
As stated, it probably isn't needed to perform any sort of treatment for flat feet whether your toddler is actually a toddler, or just a baby at heart. If there is no pain or discomfort then you should carry on as normal. I've been suggested shoe inserts before, but they honestly don't seem to have much effect. If anything they can even increase the pain that is felt by a flat footed child since it is literally attempting to shove that flat foot back to a shape that it will never naturally take.
Some orthopedic arch supports can help, but they need to be fitted carefully in order to not exacerbate an existing problem. Supporting shoes can work well given the same stipulations. Weight is a huge contributing factor to a flat footed toddler so a bit of weight loss can prove to have huge benefits. Physical therapy and stretching are what I've found to be most effective, but don't jump into it haphazardly lest you end up making the problem worse.