The baby is born with perfectly flat feet. Flat children's feet start to form a curve (arch of the foot) at the moment of the first steps. It happens that this process lasts up to twelve years. Therefore, let's take it for the truth that in the first year of life all children naturally have flat feet. However, a child can be diagnosed with flat feet not earlier than in 5-6 years. Until the age of 12, the situation can be corrected and changed for the better.
The arch of the foot performs the function of the correct load-distributing when walking, running, jumping. With flat feet, a child gets tired very quickly even from walking, the load on his spine and legs is not properly distributed, therefore the feet must form properly from childhood.
Congenital flat feet occur in 2-3 percent of cases and are formed even before the child is born.
One of the most popular myths is that the formation of the feet can be changed by orthopedic shoes. True orthopedic shoes should be worn by a child only according to the orthopedist’s prescription. A child with no abnormalities in the development of the feet doesn’t need such shoes. Of course, orthopedic shoes should be correctly selected. They should have a hard back and a wide front part, preferably with small instep support and a heel. Unfortunately, orthopedic shoes are not likely to affect the formation of the foot greatly, yet they will help to prevent an ankle dislocation.
Walking on an uneven surface affects the formation of the arch of the foot. Create an opportunity for your baby to walk barefoot on grass, pebbles, sand, buy a small orthopedic mat. Experiment, create an uneven surface yourself. We live in the age of smooth floors and smooth roads but the children need to walk on even surfaces from time to time. Remember that the feet have to “work”. Don’t ignore children’s playgrounds, allow your kid to actively run and climb horizontal bars and slides.