Flat feet, also known as “fallen arches” or “pes planus”, occur in approximately 20-30 percent of the population. This is a common problem that may lead to other issues later on in life when left untreated.
In the beginning, all infants’ feet appear flat as the arch has yet to be formed due to low muscle tone and weak ligaments. There is also a fat deposit which can hide the natural curve of the arch area. This fat pad usually disappears when the child is about 2 years old. You shouldn’t worry about your child’s flat feet until they are 3 years and older, as almost all children appear to have flat feet until this age.
When should I seek help?
While some children have flat feet and have no problems at any stage in life, many do suffer from ailments such as arthritis and muscle problems, which can start as early as their teenage years. This can seriously affect their quality of life.
A simple questionnaire:
Is the shape of your child’s feet different looking?
Are the arches of the foot not forming after the age of 3?
Does your child walk strangely or fall often?
Does your child have pain in the feet, legs or hips?
Do you have a family history of foot problems?
If yes, you might want to get their feet checked at one of our clinics! It is important to take care of your child’s feet as they will have to last them a lifetime. Podiatrists can recommend footwear, exercises and corrective foot orthoses to help.