Is your baby starting to walk?
Is your baby trying to walk? We have pulled together some foot care advice to parents of toddlers. As your baby starts to walk, things quickly become an adventure! You may first see your baby begin to walk or toddle. It is very cute to watch a toddler walk, with the legs being far apart, hesitant with every step, and jerking side to side. It is fun to watch them as they slowly gain more confidence and transform their walking. By the age of 18-21 months, your baby will likely be able to walk more smoothly, and without support. However, if your toddler has not started walking by 21 months, consider talking with your pediatrician.
Below are some good tips to make sure your toddler is ready to walk and run:
- Purchase properly fitting shoes – Poor-fitting shoes can cause a lot of discomforts and as a result, inhibit your child’s walking. Make sure to try on shoes first. Measure your toddler’s feet on a regular basis. Additionally, pay close attention to the toe box design. You want to make sure there is plenty of room in the toe box to avoid blisters. The human foot is complex, and the feet need to adapt to uneven surfaces and absorb shock with each step. Therefore, the shoes should be flexible, light-weight, and skid resistant! Also keep your eye out for a rubber shoe, as they are usually skid resistant.
- Encourage your toddler to wear shoes outside. However, it is a good idea to encourage toddlers to go barefoot inside. By going barefoot inside, it can aid in strengthening various foot muscles, and also help promote natural foot development.
- Maintain good foot hygiene – toddlers are at risk of contracting a fungal infection on their feet, otherwise known as athlete’s foot. This can happen when they are outdoors in the heat and moisture. Always make sure to dry your little one’s feet after baths.
- Make sure you don’t let their toenails get too long, and always trim them straight across. Watch closely for any ingrown toenails that may develop, and contact us at Kansas City Foot and Ankle immediately if you see one starting to occur.
- Parents – make sure to pay attention to your child’s walking and running gait! Some toddlers walk with their feet turned inward, and others walk with their feet turned out, or pronated. Specifically, watch closely for flat feet with pronation. Excess pronation can cause exhaustion to your toddler’s feet. This is because the muscles are having to work harder, due to poor position. Consequently, your toddler may complain of fatigue to their legs or feet. Sometimes, it’s a chain reaction, and leads to inward tilting of the knees and hips. They may need orthotics to provide appropriate arch support! We specialize in custom orthotics at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.
In conclusion, if you have any concerns regarding your toddler’s foot care or gait, please reach out to the podiatrists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle. ! At Kansas City Foot and Ankle, we have expertly trained and experienced pediatric podiatrists – all who are available to get your toddler running around without any foot issues! Give our friendly staff a call today at 816-943-1111 to schedule an appointment.