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The start of a new school term signals a new school uniform and, inevitably, new school shoes.
While you can tell the fit and comfort of clothes at a glance, buying the right shoes for your child can be a little harder. The healthy development of feet in the early years is vital to help avoid problems in later life. Lorraine Jones from The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, gives parents some top tips on how to be sure your child is set on the path for healthy feet for life.
The perfect fit
A quick, easy and effective way to check if your child's shoes fit correctly is to draw around the outline on the foot on a piece of paper. Place the shoe on top of the outline ' if the shoe doesn't cover all of the outline then the shoes are too small.
The toe area should be foot-shaped and of sufficient depth which will allow the toes to move freely.
The heel height should be no greater than 4cm with a broad base of shock-absorbing material.
The shoe should fit snugly around the heel area. It is held on the foot with laces, Velcro or a strap and is made of leather.
Check the size of their socks ' this is easy to forget, but it is essential to ensure that your child's socks allow room for growth and are not restrictive.
Wear and Care
Unusual wear may be the first indication that there is a problem with the foot posture or general posture and should always be investigated by your registered podiatrist. Normally, wear is across the back of the heel or between the back and the outside. Look out for severe wear on the inside or outside of the heel which may carry forward to the sole of the shoe. The heel area of the upper may also be broken and bulge inside or outside.
Inspect children's feet regularly for inflamed nails, red pressure marks on the top of the small joints of the toes, below the ankle bones and at the back of the heel.
See www.feetforlife.org for more information
The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists are the UK's experts for everything and anything to do with feet.
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