Most kids are born with very little or no arch in their feet; this is a perfectly normal stage of development. If, however, your child is already five years old and does not have a noticeable arch in his or her foot, you may want to schedule an appointment with your Houston podiatrist.
There are two types of flat feet that children may have: flexible and rigid. A flexible flatfoot is a condition in which, despite having little or no foot arch, your child is still able to move his or her foot in all directions. It is not a particularly serious condition, although if it persists into the teenage years, your child may start to experience pain along the bottom of his or her foot. If I determine that your child has a flexible flat foot, there are exercises I can teach you that can help limit any discomfort associated with the condition. Additionally, we may want to create a pair of custom orthotics for your child, so he or she doesn’t experience foot fatigue and so that his or her shoes will last longer and wear more evenly (you’re welcome!)
A second type of flat foot, rigid flatfoot, is rare and more serious; kids with rigid flat feet usually have limited range of motion and no arch even when they are standing on their tip-toes. Rigid flat feet are usually associated with discomfort and usually needs medical correction (the condition is often caused by abnormal foot development and bone growth). In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the condition, but I will only make that recommendation if no other treatment options will be successful.
We always worry about our children—the development of their feet is no exception to that rule. If you have concerns about your child’s growing foot, come see Dr. Andrew Schneider at Tanglewood Foot Specialists today.