Many toddlers have feet that appear to be flat, and they often grow out of that condition. However, if these kids continue to have flat feet well into their primary school years, that condition can lead to a lot of different issues. If your child has flat feet, here are the issues he or she may face if the issue is ignored:
1. Foot Pain
Flat feet in children usually consists of fallen arches. So that the arches can lie relatively flatly on the ground, the heel bone has to turn outward. That relatively unnatural position can cause the child to feel pain in his feet and ankles. That pain is typically exacerbated with exercise such as running or standing.
2. Knee, Hip and Back Pain
When any part of the body is out of alignment, it can create pain that quickly spreads to the rest of the body. If a child's ankle is turned inward due to his or her flat feet, his knees are naturally out of line as well, and that can can cause pain especially after running or walking.
That pain often travels to the hips and back as well.
3. Weight Gain
Due to the pain and challenges associated with flat feet, many kids with this issue shy away from activity and exercise. They may prefer to sit more often than they would if they were not experiencing pain, and as a result, they gain weight.
Although the weight gain starts with the flat feet, it can ultimately make the situation and its symptoms worse. Obesity, for example, is also associated with joint and back pain, meaning the situation can get cyclically worse over time.
4. Slow Sport Development
As kids with flat feet are typically not as active as their peers, they do not develop sport skills at the same rate as others. They may fall behind and eventually not be able to join school teams or even playground games.
5. Lack of Confidence
Kids who cannot join other kids as they play, regardless of the reason, may experience a lack of confidence. Sadly, that can affect all aspects of their lives. Additionally, flat feet are visually different than feet with raised arches, and kids with this condition may get teased.
Dealing with your child's flat feet may be easier than you think. If your child's feet look flat or if your child has started to complain about pain, talk with your pediatrician and get a reference to a podiatrist at an office like Galleria Podiatry. They can help you raise your child's feet slowly with therapeutic arch supports.