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Tippy Toes: Caring for Your Child’s Feet

Tippy Toes: Caring for Your Child’s Feet

Words by Lorraine Pelley

How often do you care for your baby’s feet? If you answer not often—you’re not alone. Children’s feet are usually not at the top of the list when it comes to infant care. However, improper foot maintenance can lead to more severe problems later on.

Proper foot health promotes natural development and reduces the risk of unwanted conditions, like baby foot fungus or other infections. You can also spot any abnormalities that may require a doctor’s care sooner. If, for example, you notice what looks like teeth growing on the toes, it could be caused by a rare genetic condition that affects nail growth. The sooner conditions are diagnosed, the earlier a treatment plan can be implemented.

Caring for your toddler’s feet involves regular cleaning, drying, especially in between the toes, inspections and nail cutting. To prevent ingrown toenails or scratches, cut the nails in a straight line above the cuticle. Babies are more prone to infections so open cuts should be cleaned and covered.

Infant shoes have become a trendy fashion statement over the years. However, ill-fitting, restrictive shoes do not allow free movement and circulation. They can cause serious harm to your children’s feet and hinder essential development. Allowing your child to go barefoot as much as possible will let your toddler’s feet to develop and strengthen naturally.

Shoes should be worn on children’s feet when walking on rough surfaces to prevent injury. A professional can properly measure the length and width of your toddler’s feet to make sure the shoes are the right size. Proper fitting socks made of natural materials that do not restrict circulation can be worn on cold surfaces.
Tight socks and shoes can also cause athletes foot in toddlers if the feet get sweaty and dirty. Regularly check for baby athlete’s foot when wearing shoes, going swimming and in situations where the feet are prone to dirt and moisture buildup.

Are trainers good for children’s feet?
If you are putting shoes on your toddler’s feet, trainers that are soft, made of natural materials and well-fitted are best for your children’s feet.

How long does it take for baby’s feet to straighten out?
Crooked feet are fairly common in newborns. In most cases, the condition corrects itself within the first six to 12 months. In severe cases, medical intervention might be necessary to straighten out the feet.

Should baby’s feet always be covered?
Babies and toddlers should spend as much time as possible with bare feet, especially when they are first learning to walk. This helps their feet develop and strengthen naturally. Ill fitting footwear can hinder development and cause long term problems.

Why are my baby’s feet so cold?
Cold feet on a baby are completely normal because their circulatory system is not fully developed at birth. It takes approximately three months after birth before the blood circulates to the extremities. Baby outfits with sewn-in feet covers will keep your children’s feet warm without restricting their movements.