It is important to note that every child's feet are unique, and their footwear needs may vary. Not all children necessarily require an arch support, we wrote about in our earlier article. However, if a child shows signs of foot discomfort, pain, or other related issues, consulting with a pediatric podiatrist or a healthcare professional can help determine if arch support or specific footwear modifications are necessary.
Wearing shoes without proper arch support can lead to several potential problems for a child's foot health:
- Flat Feet: You can see our previous blog here and here where we explained this topic in more detail. Arch support helps maintain the natural arch of the foot. Without adequate support, the arches may flatten, resulting in a condition known as flat feet. Flat feet can cause foot pain, fatigue, and instability while walking or participating in physical activities.
- Poor Posture and Alignment Issues: Arch support plays a role in maintaining proper posture and alignment of the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. When the arches are unsupported, it can affect the overall alignment of the body. This can lead to postural problems, including an altered gait pattern, which may result in issues such as knee pain, hip pain, and back pain.
- Overpronation: Pronation refers to the natural inward rolling motion of the foot during walking or running. However, excessive or uncontrolled pronation, known as overpronation, can occur if the arches are not adequately supported. Overpronation can lead to biomechanical imbalances, placing excessive stress on the feet, ankles, and lower limbs. This can contribute to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and knee pain.
- Foot Fatigue and Discomfort: Lack of arch support can cause foot fatigue and discomfort, especially during prolonged standing or physical activities. The absence of proper cushioning and support can result in increased pressure on the feet, leading to pain, soreness, and a general feeling of discomfort.
- Increased Risk of Injuries: Insufficient arch support can increase the risk of foot and ankle injuries, as it can compromise the stability and shock absorption capabilities of the feet. Without proper support, the feet are more susceptible to sprains, strains, and stress fractures.
- Risk of developing foot ailments such as bunions, corns and athlete’s foot. This risk might develop as a result of prolonged walking in rubber shoes, and other unsuitable footwear.
- Growing pains: Not taking proper care of a child's feet can lead to more extreme growing pains as their bones and muscles grow.
Let’s deep dive into the problem with poor posture: Poor posture is a problem that often goes unnoticed in children, yet its effects can be incredibly detrimental. Poor posture can later on lead to limited mobility and can make it difficult for a child to participate in physical activities. Maintaining good posture while walking is an important aspect of overall health and fitness. Bad posture can lead to physical and mental problems. Fortunately, there are a variety of exercises out there that can help: Pilates is great for targeting the core muscles, such as the abdominals, lower back and glutes, which help stabilize and improve the posture of the back. Yoga is great for enhancing flexibility, balance and strength, which can lead to more efficient movement and better posture when walking. Squats are a great way to strengthen the lower body muscles which can help to correct hip and knee alignment while walking. Walking exercises target the specific walking muscles, such as the calves and hips, to help improve the posture.
By incorporating exercises like these into your daily routine, you can help improve your posture for a healthier and happier life. Invite your children who will in a playful way avoid problems with a bad posture, as we all know that prevention is better than cure.
All sandals, unless they are barefoot sneakers, have either a mild arch support, or a high one - those are called orthopedic sandals.