Children and Flat Feet

Before you get nervous about your child's flat feet, remember that most babies are born with flat feet and may stay that way until around the age of six. Children have very flexible joints and bones, so their feet naturally go completely flat when they stand. Younger babies also have a fat pad on the inner border of their feet and that will typically hide the arch.

After children have passed that six-year mark, only one or two out of ten children will continue to have flat feet. Flat feet in children can cause changes to the structure of the foot, including:

  • Flattening the inside arch
  • Turning the heel bone outward
  • Altering the inside of the foot to appear more bowed outward than normal
Flat feet can make children slightly unstable when they walk and they might complain about pain in their arches, heels, ankles, lower backs, hips, knees, or legs.

It can be tricky for parents to figure out whether or not their child has flat feet. If your son or daughter is around two or three years old and you're starting to think there might be an issue, bring your child to an experienced podiatrist. A skilled Gastonia foot doctor knows how the foot should be developing and will be alert to any red flags. He will look for any deformities of the foot that may not go away and carry into adulthood. The earlier any issues are caught, the better.

If your pediatric podiatrist determines that your child has a mild flat foot condition, he probably won't recommend any kind of treatment. Just bring your child for yearly check-ups and make sure she wears supportive, cushioned shoes. If it's more than a mild case, the doctor might recommend orthotics, stretching exercises, or—in a few severe cases—surgery.

If you think your child might be suffering from flat feet, contact Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists to schedule an appointment at 704-861-0425.

Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054