Have you noticed that your child has a flat foot? If so, you may be wondering whether you should see a podiatrist. We all want to make sure that our children are happy and healthy, which is why we have put together a list of everything you need to know about flat feet in children, their causes and whether or not you should seek help from a professional.
What are flat feet?
What causes flat feet in children?
There’s more than one reason why your child might have flat feet. This issue actually begins in the heel. The heel bone falls inward, which causes the foot to collapse where the arch should be. Therefore, if your child has flat feet, they won’t be spreading their weight evenly, but they will be walking on the inside of their feet.
There are two main reasons why this happens
- Low muscle tone: If your child has low muscle tone, the cause of flat feet is ligament laxity. This means that their ligaments are too stretchy, which causes the heel bone to rotate inwards, causing the arch to collapse.
- High muscle tone: If your child has a high muscle tone, it sometimes means that the Achilles tendon is too short, which causes the foot to be pulled inward.
Are flat feet normal or should I see a podiatrist?
For many children, flat feet are normal and the issue usually corrects itself over time as the muscles begin to stretch and the soft tissues stiffen up. In a lot of cases, flat feet will fix themselves by the time your child is nine.
However, there are some instances where flat feet do not correct themselves, which can have several effects.
If your child has started to experience any of these symptoms, you should consider getting their feet checked by a podiatrist:
- Joint pain
- Unusual or incorrect walking pattern
- Muscle weakness or exhaustion
- Poor foot development
Occasionally, flat feet can cause a significant amount of pain when your child is walking or running. If you have noticed that your child is in some or a lot of pain when they are walking, you should get their feet checked by a podiatrist.