Flat feet is common in infants, and it is also not unusual for this condition to remain present as the baby grows into a child. Bones and joints in children are flexible, which means that it is common for feet to flatten when there is pressure on them. In addition, the flatness of your baby's foot may be deceptive; young children have fat that surrounds the arch, so if your toddler is standing up, you may not see the arch even if it is there. Also, feet have a tendency to turn out, which makes the foot look even flatter than it really is.
When children reach the age of six, the arches become more visible because the feet are not as flexible. Ten to twenty percent of children will still have flat feet when they become adults. Typically, no treatment takes place unless the individual is experiencing pain. Arch supports can help with the problem.
Depending on the type of flat feet that the individual has, it may be necessary to try different treatments. For example, if the Achilles tendon is too tight, and the foot is not as flexible as a result, there are stretching exercises that may be able to help. It is quite unusual for someone to experience rigid flat feet. This is a condition where the child has trouble tilting their foot side to side or up and down. It can be painful, and if there is no intervention, arthritis may result. Normally, rigid flat feet are not found in very young individuals. Symptoms typically appear when the suffer is a teen; it is important to see a doctor right away if this is the case.
If a child has sores, foot pain, stiff feet, or limited motion in the feet, it is important to be seen by a medical health professional. If necessary, a visit to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon may help. A podiatrist is another valuable resource, especially if he or she has experience treating children.
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