Flat Feet

Flat feet is normal for children until age five. Many parents bring their children to an orthopedic clinic at the age of 5 or 6, worried that their child's feet are flat. But there's no need to worry! At this age, the situation is fixable. In fact, most children at this age have flat feet, due to a number of reasons:

  • The arch is not fully developed at this age
  • Baby fat on the bottom of the foot mask the developing arch
  • The legs aren't strong enough to provide enough support for the arch

The child's leg develops in the same direction of the bones of the foot, which improve the structure of the foot, strengthen the tendons and muscles and provide good support to the other parts of the foot. Many parents still think that using orthotics is necessary in order to support flat feet. In fact, the opposite is true. A flexible flat foot does not require orthotics for support. Parents should just make sure that their child has wide and flexible shoes. The ideal shoe is a good-quality sports shoe.

Tip for parents: ask your child to stand tiptoed. One parent should check to see that the heel is turned inwards and the arch is noticeable. This is called the Tiptoe Test. Additionally, the child shouldn't be complaining of any physical discomfort.

There are cases where the foot is too flexible and then the child's posture is affected. These children can be fitted with orthotics to help their foot realign itself. Thirty percent of adults have flat-feet, which means that 30% of children cannot fix the fallen arches.