Flat feet is a condition in which the foot arch or falling arch is absent. Flat feet in children is very common and in most of the cases, it gradually gets into shape as they grow up. Let’s have a look at the reasons behind this condition.
Flat feet is a medical condition in which the foot has partial or no arch. It is also known as falling arch or pes planus. Flat feet is a very common phenomenon in children as they have loose joint ligaments. The arch is visible after they are 2-3 years of age. The arch keeps developing and proper arch is formed when they are into their adolescent age. 20% – 30% of the individuals have falling arch in at least one leg.
In many children when they stand, the arch disappears, and reappears when they tiptoe or when they sit. Parents may sometimes get very concerned on noticing the flat feet, but usually it does not pose any kind of health risk. There are very few cases of children facing problems due to this condition.
There are lots of reasons behind the absence of arch. Some causes diminish with time and some may be carried on for a lifetime, but they are not related to any serious complications. Following are some of the common causes.
- Flat feet can be hereditary. It can be carried from generations to generation without any health issues.
- Due to some complications inside the womb, the child may get flat feet.
- Some children are born with fused bones which may result in the absence of falling arch.
- In small babies, the joint between two bones is very loose. This gradually gets tighten as the baby grows and the arch appears. In some cases, it may be loose till they are adults and the arch will not be seen.
- In children, baby fat between the foot bone can also be a reason for flat feet.
- Injuries may also lead to this condition.
How to Check if the Child has Falling Arch?
The arch can be seen only after the age of 2 to 3 years. After this age, you can easily recognize your baby’s flat foot. If you are unable to do so, make your child dip his/her foot in ink or water and make him/her stand on a paper or on a place where you can see the impression of his/her foot. Ask them if they feel any pain or fatigue in long walks or when they limp. If yes, then consult a doctor. He may take an X-ray to find out the reason behind the flat feet and can suggest a proper treatment.
If the child complains about pain in the foot and ankle then consult a doctor. The doctor may suggest some foot exercises or special exercises for flat feet. A proper-fitting shoe or specially-made sole can relieve your child from pain. It is better to consult the doctor before buying such shoes. Also, check the quality and comfort of the shoe. In some cases, surgeries to separate the fused bone or to give arch to the feet are conducted. These surgeries are very rarely performed on children. Just walking barefoot on the beach can also give your feet muscles a good workout.
Flat feet in children is a common thing and one should not worry till it causes any harm to your child. Many people and children lead a very normal life with falling arch and never face any problem. So, if there is no problem with your child’s flat feet then you need not worry about it.