Paediatric Flat Feet (kids)


Flat feet is a complaint that we often see in our clinics. There are a number of reasons why children have flat feet and this can vary depending on their age and foot morphology (Shape and structure).

For a period after your child is born and starts walking, flat feet is a normal appearance. This is partly due to most of the bones of the foot being very tiny and the rest of the space being cartilage that will eventually turn to bone as your child grows. Following two years of age this should resolve.

As your child develops the various bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments develop and become coordinated and your child starts standing/walking and running around. This aids in the development of an arch profile and a ‘normal’ walking pattern. This process however doesn’t always go according to plan, reasons for this include:

  • Ligament laxity – Being more ‘bendy’than normal can place extra strain on the joints of the foot.
  • Muscle weakness – If your muscles aren’t strong enough or have the endurance to hold your feet and legs in the correct position.
  • Poor/incorrect footwear – Shoes that do not fit the feet correctly or support the foot can worsen symptoms.
  • Lack of barefoot time in a developing baby – Barefoot time is an important part of your child’s development as it gives the nerves of the feet and legs lots of input which helps the nerves of your child develop normally.

When a child presents with flat feet, one of our Podiatrists will perform a comprehensive examination and determine the cause of your child’s flat feet and whether they are resolving to a normal arch height or delayed in this change in the foots development. Once identified, this can be treated with exercises, footwear, in shoe padding or simply to be monitored for improvement.

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