Kid Foot Care FAQ

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1. What is “flat foot”?
Flat foot means that the foot arch is depressed when standing, without the normal curvature. People with flat foot are most inborn or hereditary, seldom are due to radical weight increase. Sufferer will become tired and have foot pains easily when walking. For severe cases, it is possible to have knee or waist pain.
2. Does every child have flat foot?
Actually not every child has flat foot. The foot condition varies at different ages: before 4 years old, the fat layer of foot bottom is relatively thick. Their shape of foot cannot be confirmed and it is called “pseudo flat foot”. From 4-13 years old, the layer of fat at foot bottom should be gradually reduced and forms the foot arch. Some of them may have flat foot at this stage. By using insoles with suitable arch support and doing exercises, it helps to prevent deterioration and alleviate foot problems.
3. How do I know if I have flat foot?
You can perform self-examination at home. It is very simple. First, wet your feet and then stamp on dry newspaper. Immediately you will see a water print. With this print, you can basically determine whether you have flat foot or not (If there is no dry space in footprint medial region, that would be flat foot). If in doubt, you may go to Dr. Kong Healthy Shoe Shop to receive Check & Fit foot examination service or consult doctor for opinions.
4. What should we do if our children have flat foot?
If the foot shape is confirmed, parents can help children to select shoes with the following features to reduce the problem of pain and fatigue. – Hard heel counter (better if there is mid-cut design) -> it can stabilize heel bone and control the degree of rear foot valgus. – Insoles with different levels of arch support -> Use different insoles according to different foot condition to reduce foot problems. – Shoes with different width of forefoot -> Choose appropriate shoe style according to different shapes of foot so that the shoes can follow the foot shape closely and increase comfort.
5. It is often heard that children have flat foot. Then what about high arch? What are the problems with it?
People with high arch means foot arch higher than normal when standing. People with high arch foot most are inborn or hereditary, some of them are due to their shoe wear (wearing shoes too small). If high arch appears, children’s forefeet and heel bottom receive more stress. It can lead to pain and callus at forefoot and heel. Besides, children’s center of gravity raised because of the foot shape and they can easily sprain their ankles.
6. How should we deal with high arch?
We recommend children to receive Check & Fit service to choose suitable insole for increasing foot bottom contact. It can fill up the foot arch and redistribute pressure evenly. At the same time, we recommend children to wear shoes with wider bottom, hard heel counter and mid-cut design shoes to reduce the possibility of sprain.
7. Is it necessary to wear health shoes for normal foot?
Even normal foot, it is still necessary to wear health shoes. The purpose is to provide a healthy environment during the foot development stage.
8. Why do children’s heels become slanted?
The foot joints of children before 4 years old are relatively soft. Therefore, a slanted heel is normal. As they grow older(4-6 years old), their foot will gradually develop. Normally, the heel will return to upright slowly. Otherwise, that would be rear foot valgus. Rear foot valgus is mainly inborn or hereditary. Rear foot valgus increases pressure at medial foot region and worsen flat foot problem.
9. What to do if there are slanted heels?
During development stage, children’s feet will change. Therefore, it is recommended to choose shoes with hard heel counter to stabilize children’s heel bones and control the degree of rear foot valgus. By using suitable insoles, heels can return to straight condition when walking and prevent foot problems.
10. If rear foot valgus is more severe, what should be noted when choosing shoes?
Besides wearing shoes with hard heel counter and using insoles of appropriate level, one can also wear shoes with mid-cut design to further protect foot joints and enhance stability.

Baby Foot & Spine Care FAQ

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1. Should babies use baby walkers?

Baby walkers can assist children to learn walking. But it is recommended not to use it too early and pay attention to its height adjustment. When children use baby walkers, their feet are standing on tiptoe. Extended usage might easily cause children to walk on tiptoes.

2. My child is just a few months old but he already has O-shaped legs. What should I do?

It is common for a few months old children to have O-shaped legs. Since the shape of their knee joints will change at different stages of development as below diagrams, parents do not need to worry at this stage.

3. When should children learn to walk?

Generally, around 8 months old is the stage for crawling and learning to walk. First, they try to stand up and slowly learn to walk. Different children have different progress. As usual, children at around 15 months old should be able to walk steadily. At one and a half years old, they should walk steadily. Parents should avoid making their children learn walking too early because their small leg bones have not been fully developed. Learning to walk too early may cause problem like in-bending of small legs which affects appearance.

4. What shoes should children wear when they are learning to walk?

Before 15 months, it is best to for their feet to have direct contact with the ground. It is recommended to learn walking with barefoot. If you want to give some protection, it is recommended to wear soft shoes with extremely thin bottom (such as ‘pre-walk’ shoes) to increase their sense of grounding and enhance balancing. Because of hygiene and safety reasons, it is recommended to wear outdoor ‘pre-walk’ shoes when they are outdoors. The shoe bottom is anti-slippery and protective to their feet. Around 15 months old, since they may not walk steadily, it is recommended to wear ‘learn-to-walk’ shoes. Their shoe heads can be easily flexed which allows toddlers to walk comfortably.

5. What should I do when I find out my child’s foot flat?

There is a layer of fat beneath the foot arch of children before 4 years old that causes pseudo flat foot. Generally it will be absorbed by the body between 4-5 years old. If the situation is still unchanged after 6 years old, it can then be determined having flat foot. There is no need to worry at this stage.

6. Are there any advantages for children to learn walking without crawling?

At the moment, there is no data to reveal. Whether children crawl or not are both normal development. On the contrary, learning to crawl do have advantages for babies. During the process of crawling, all four limbs move in turn which can train their balance and eye-hand coordination. Crawling also stimulates babies’ spatial concept and sense of distance. At the same time, crawling builds up children’s whole body muscle. Therefore, it is recommended parents let their babies learn crawling before learning to walk.

7. Is it not good if babies often walk on tiptoes?

Baby learns to stand or walk often on tiptoes. It is possible that babies try to adapt their body weight during walking. Babies try to overcome the bumpy roads by raising their tiptoes because the roads are not as smooth as the floor at home. Usually, the frequency of tiptoe walking will decrease afterwards. That is normal phenomenon at early stage.