When should your child have their feet checked?
Children should have a regular foot check-up at these important milestones:
- Age 3 – this is when children develop a more adult ‘heel-toe’ gait pattern and the age when the arch has started to develop.
- Age 5 – just before the start of primary school is an ideal time to have a child’s foot check-up. This is the first time a child will be wearing enclosed shoes all day, every day and participating in organised sport.
- Age 11-12 – just before high-school starts. This is the start of puberty, with children getting heavier and often becoming involved in higher level sports. With the start of high school, most children will be required to wear a formal leather school shoe for the first time, so choosing the best style for their feet is important.
Outside these times please refer to our guide – The 5 signs that your child might have a foot problem and needs a foot check-up
For information on general milestones please see below Gross Motor Milestones infographic with thanks to North Shore Pediatric Therapy for this infographic.
What is included in a child’s foot check up?
Your podiatrist will take a paediatric medical history and complete a physical examination, including a gait analysis. In your child’s foot check-up we will be looking closely at:
- Foot Posture Index assessment
- Joint flexibility tests, including the Beighton Hypermobility Score
- Screening of balance, coordination and pelvic stability
- Foot and leg muscle strength testing – checking for muscle imbalances or weakness
- Screening for any leg length discrepancy
- Gait analysis and biomechanical assessment – to look for any abnormalities in the way the feet and legs move during gait
- Footwear assessment – looking for abnormal shoe wear patterns. Bring along their everyday school shoes and sports shoes
What should I do if I think my child might have a foot problem?
Remember, it’s not normal for kids to complain of foot, leg or knee pain.
If your child complains of pain in their feet or legs, fatigues easily with moderate exercise, is not keen on participating in sport or asks to be carried (or sit in the pram) more than other kids or you have any other concerns about their foot posture or gait, contact us for a child’s foot health check-up.