Gait Development

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Gait Development

The way children walk and when to seek help is always a hard question for parents and caregivers. When children start walking their centre of mass is low and they have a wide stance with their feet pointing outwards for stability. As they develop this decreases and around the age of 2-4 you start seeing heel contact and the child begins pushing off with their big toe to move forward. In addition, children have a fat pad under their arch which can make them look like they have a flat foot until the age of approximately 4. All these conditions may cause concern.

It is hard to say when they need help. The best advice we can give is that if your think your child walks abnormally or trips often or has pain, then come and see us for a quick check up. We can do an assessment and tell you if there are any problems. We can advise you whether the problem needs to be treated or if it is just a transitory phase.

The most important aspect with children’s feet is footwear. When children are growing up they need to have flexible shoes through where the big toe bends, especially to help muscles of the foot to develop. They also need support around the heels. Shoes should not bend through the middle or in every direction and if they are as stiff as a plank they should not be worn.

What Can Healthy Steps Podiatrists Do For You?

  • We can assess your child’s problem and how they walk to see if they need treatment.
  • We can assess their shoes and advise you on what to look for when buying footwear
  • Prescribe orthotics if required.
  • If we think the situation needs more attention we can refer you to suitable health practitioners for further treatment.