I was recently asked “Do you do custom orthotics for children?” My answer in one word: “Rarely.”
If you look at most infant and young children’s feet you will notice that they have flat feet! What many people do not know is that children typically do not develop arches until between the ages of 4 to 6 years old. Until this age, the ligaments and tendons have not fully developed and grown into their fully functioning size and strength, giving the appearance of a flat arch.
Typically in this situation, the child has not complained of any pain yet the parent is concerned about “normal” development – but this is normal! In this case, I would not do a custom orthotics device, or even recommend an over-the-counter insole, until after about age 6 or until the child complains about pain, which may be never!
However, there are cases where non-surgical intervention may be necessary. These are situations where it may be necessary to speak with a pedorthist about options for your child:
· Excessive shoe wear
· Tripping over his or her own feet
· Severe in-toeing or out-toeing
· Pain – in feet, ankle, knees, calves
· Decrease in activity level with no explanation
· Congenital deformity – such as club foot or metatarsus adductus
If you are concerned about your children’s development and would like an opinion on whether or not pedorthic treatment is necessary please do not hesitate to call 519-787-8111 or visit here to book an appointment.
Laura Van den Borre,