Is It Normal For My Child To Have Flat Feet?
November 2, 2021
As parents, we’re often concerned about many aspects of our children’s wellbeing and development – and their feet are no exception. When kids have flat feet, especially when arches haven’t formed by the time a child starts school, we see many parents concerned about:
- If flat feet are normal at school age?
- Will they develop arches?
- Are they destined for foot pain?
- Should I be doing something now to help?
- Am I too late?
Flat Feet Are Normal In Young ChildrenFirst thing’s first: flat feet are normal in young children. Their foot muscles are still developing, the fat pads around the feet are more prominent, they’re still very flexible – so having flat feet at this age is not something to worry about in most cases.
Flat Feet At School AgeSchool age is when we’d expect to see an arch start to form. Kids are constantly on their feet, their muscles are strengthening and lengthening, their ligaments are growing strong – so it’s common that we’d start to see arches form at this age, especially by 7 years old. If arches haven’t developed by this age, there’s a good chance that they may not and your child may have a flatter foot type.
Flat Feet And Foot PainIt’s important to note that while having flat feet can make your child more likely to develop pain or problems with their feet and legs as they grow and into adulthood, it does not mean that they are destined for a future of tired, achy feet. We see many children and adults with flat feet who experience no pain or symptoms. Similarly, we also see even more people who do experience some form of pain, discomfort or injury that is associated with their flat feet. Often it’s because muscles and ligaments have to work harder for every step taken with a flatter foot type, making them more prone to overuse.
Helping Kids With Flat FeetTrust your instincts. If something you’re seeing about your child’s walking or their flat feet is concerning you, bring them in to be assessed. This is especially important if the flat feet are paired with:
- Regular tripping or falling
- Foot or leg pain
- Being unable to complete full sports games or training without discomfort
- Never being able to find comfortable shoes