There is nothing like watching your children play. Whether they’re tearing it up around the park or imagining their own little world in your backyard, it is great for their growing needs. During the past year, due to COVID 19, children have been less active than ever before.
Here is some easy advice, which is for the Whole Family:
Taking time to play as a family is a spectacular opportunity for bonding—one that seems to be slowly vanishing more and more in our age. A good bout of activity is a benefit for everyone involved, kids and adults! This quality time can also be a decent opportunity to get a gauge of your child’s gait and whether there might be any concerns that are worth checking out.
Let’s face it: Children are not always the most forthcoming with information. During playtime, though, they let that guard down and it’s easier to see if they are walking with toes inward or outward, or may have flat arches. And if they complain of foot pain or start shying away from activities they love for things that are less impactful on their heels, that could be a sign something is amiss.
Many times, gait abnormalities will be outgrown as your child develops. These are still conditions that should be monitored and checked by a professional, however. When abnormalities do not start to fade, and especially if pain becomes an issue, treatment may be necessary.
Sometimes, this treatment involves custom orthotics.
Why Would My Child Need (or Not Need) Orthotics? We know that orthotics tend to have a certain stigma to them. They are for older people, right? Surely not for kids!
The truth, however, is that children can face similar needs as adults when it comes to their foot and ankle health. And when it comes to correction for an abnormal gait or support for the arch, forefoot, or heel, custom orthotics may be the best option.
Each child’s case is different, and it will take a full examination to determine whether orthotics should be considered.
As we noted above, symptoms of gait abnormalities, lack of arches, or pain will at least initially set orthotics on the table as a possibility. Additional signs might include walking only on the toes or heels, consistently stumbling or tripping over one’s own feet, or wanting to be carried frequently due to becoming tired easily.
Another factor that may influence a diagnosis is family history. Do you or anyone else in your family experience foot and ankle problems, especially of a structural variety? Your child might be predisposed to similar conditions merely by matter of genetics.
Now, even with many of the above elements present, orthotics are not immediately recommended in a great number of cases.