Q: I think my young child is suffering from flat feet. What should I do?
I often hear from parents who are concerned that their child is walking flat-footed. Most parents have nothing to worry about. The human arch doesn’t actually develop until age 6. In most cases, the child just needs more time to grow. Kids’ feet develop with (or without) an arch based on their genetics. Even among children who don’t develop an arch, the vast majority don’t go on to have significant issues as adults.
However, occasionally, kids do show some symptoms that warrant a closer look by a doctor. Parents should be alert to kids who are:
- Protecting a foot or leg by limping or hopping
- Avoiding participating in sports or activities with other kids
- Expressing any nighttime pain in the feet
- Complaining of leg fatigue
- Complaining of back pain.
These can all be signs of conditions that need further attention. A podiatrist can help determine if the issue is something that needs to be addressed.
—Dr. Daren Benson, Podiatrist, Foot & Ankle Surgeon at Vancouver Clinic