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My child is in-toeing

You’ve noticed your child’s feet tend to point inwards when he’s walking and you are worried? But what causes this and can you do something to fix it?

A child’s feet development

During his first year of life, your baby is growing and changing rapidly and so is the size and shape of his feet. At birth, his feet are completely made of cartilage, pliable tissue that will eventually turn to bones around the age of three. His feet will continue to evolve until the age of 18 to 21 years old, when they reach full maturity.

You should know that many toddlers seem to have their feet turned inwards, a phenomenon that is attributed to the position they held in the womb. Generally, if your child has good posture, engages in preventive exercises like stretching and wears proper socks and shoes, this problem will subside by itself.

If the problem persists

In some cases, the problem will persist and that is why it’s important to encourage the healthy development of your child’s feet and legs and to remain vigilant in order to detect the signals that indicate a visit to the podiatrist has become necessary.

Here are the signs to watch for:
  • If the soles of his shoes are uneven
  • If your child has small lumps or bumps on his feet
  • If your child is experiencing pain in his feet or legs
  • If he falls or stumbles often
  • If he develops skin or nail problems
  • If he complains of fatigue in his legs
  • If he keep walking with his legs inwards with no improvement over time
What causes in-toeing

This common condition among children may present itself for different reasons that your podiatrist will evaluate during your visit. The problem may arise from:

  • His hips (tension in the ligaments)
  • His thigh bones (torsion)
  • His knees (torsion, arched or knock knee)
  • His legs (torsion)
  • His feet (in-toeing, hollow feet)
What can you do?

As we mentioned earlier, the majority of malformations and the related problems will disappear by the time a child gets to adulthood. However, there are things you can do to promote healthy development of his feet and legs:

  • Allow your baby to stretch his legs and kick his feet
  • Encourage your child to engage in simple stretching exercises
  • Ask him to avoid sitting in the reversed tailor style
  • Teach your child to have good posture
  • Make sure he wears proper socks and shoes
Orthotics

If the problem persists and causes major issues for your child and his quality of life, your podiatrist might prescribe him custom-made orthotics to reduce the daily symptoms such as pain or trips and falls. There are several different types of orthotics and your podiatrist will recommend the most suitable according to your child’s condition and needs.

By Mariem Melainine

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