The arch on the feet is located on the instep, the inside part where the sole is usually raised from the ground while standing up. This arch begins developing when the baby turns two years old and becomes defined by age five. When the arch doesn’t manifests after that, the child develops flat feet. The condition is medically known as fallen arches.
Is Flat Feet Painful?
In babies, a flat foot is pretty normal since their feet’s bone structures are still developing and puppy fat is just starting to disappear. For as long as there are no pain or sores associated with its development, babies should be allowed to carry on with their movements and activities to strengthen the tissues of their feet.
When babies grow into young kids (and later, teenagers) and flat feet persist, there shouldn’t be any major problems. While kids may experience imbalance when walking or running because of a flat foot, this is a fairly manageable condition.
Flat feet may be inherited in most cases and on rare occasions, it can happen due to poor development in the baby’s overall health. Generally though, every child by the age of 2 should begin to see some arch development. How well defined the arch is, however, varies with each child.
Baby Dilemma: Footwear or No Footwear?
Some parents or advocates may say that wearing special shoes with pads and texture can inhibit the feet’s proper development. But as a study conducted at University of Vermont, College of Medicine shows, whether the baby wears shoes or not, the arch will still develop.
Exercise & Proper Diet
More than having the right footwear, babies develop their feet’s arch better with two important factors: constant exercise and proper diet.
- Exercise. This is in the form of active movement, which basically means that babies must be given time and space to walk, play and run. Doing so will also facilitate the development of their motor skills better, thus improving their physical wellbeing.
- Diet. Overfeeding will lead to an increased body weight, making it difficult for babies to carry themselves and affecting the way they support their body while standing. A good diet must consist of a lot of calcium to aid in the formation of stronger bones.
Parents or adults providing baby care should be conscious of these two factors so that the babies’ physical development is at the optimum.