A six months of age the foot is still mostly cartilage, in fact the last bone doesn’t begin to form until children are about 3 years old. By 18 years, most of the bones are fully formed.
Children’s feet are soft and pliable making them prone to damage from abnormal pressure, such as shoes which are too small.
Foot acre can begin in infancy by keeping your baby’s feet unconstrained. Grow suits should always be loose around your babies feet, making time for your baby to kick freely will help with the development of the muscles in the legs and feet.
Children usually begin to walk any time between 10 and 24 months of age.
It is important to remember that each child in unique and will move through the developmental stages at their own pace. Each child follows a developmental sequence from lying to sitting, crawling, standing, cursing, walking to running, jumping and hopping.
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing babies to go barefoot or to wear just socks helps the foot to grow normally and promotes the grasping action of toes.
Sometimes children walk with their feet pointed inward (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing). In most cases, these variations in walking are normal. Most children will have grown out of these walking styles by the age of 2. However, if these patterns persist, or you have concerns you should bring your child to be assessed by one of our podiatrists.
Children walking on their toes (toe-walking) is not normal and should be assessed by a podiatrist.
Arch development is also an individual thing and tends to stabilize by 6 or 7 years of age. Arch height does not always indicate that a child will have problems with their feet.
A child’s foot will double in size by the age of 1 and they are approximately half their adult length by 18 months of age. Between the ages of 5 and 12, growth is approximately 9mm per year, with adult foot size approximated by the ages of 12 – 14 years.
Frequent changes in size of shoes and socks are necessary to make room for rapidly growing feet during childhood. Do a size check a least every one- three months up to the age of three, every four months up to five years and every six months from five years.
It is important that shoes are fitted by a specialist in children’s footwear to avoid injury and discomfort.