Good advice to Parents is that children should not be put into shoes too soon, and not urged to walk before they are ready.
The bones in an infants foot are soft and undeveloped, and like undeveloped connective tissue, can be harmed easily.
To develop normally, children's feet need complete freedom, so keep Baby's feet bare until they are actually walking. Loose fitting socks, blankets or outdoor coveralls will keep the baby warm even in chilly weather.
Each Child has his or her own timetable. Some infants can take their first tentative steps at the age of eight months, while others may be crawling until the age of two.
Watch your child carefully when they start to walk, observe wether their feet toe in (toes of the feet pointed in towards each other) or toe out (toes pointed away from each other), wether they limp or seems to have a posture problem. Some times the problem of toeing in or out can be seen before walking occurs. If you notice any of these symptoms check with your Pediatrician as your child may need the immediate attention of a specialist. (Orthopedist).
Since Babies grow so rapidly, toeing in or out can sometimes be corrected by wearing corrective shoes for a short period of time, with a bar securing the shoe and thus the foot foot in a position that help the bones to mature in the correct position.
A child's shoe should be fitted even more carefully than an adult's shoe as they are growing so rapidly and the bones are developing and need the proper space and support to develop properly. Until the age of two it is best to keep them in hi tops, and for older children, regular oxfords with a firm sole and 1/8 TO 3/8 heel height.
Shoes should fit at the heel and ball of the foot "not from heel to toe". There should be a thumbs width or 1/2 inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Children's feet grow so quickly that the space will be grown into soon enough.
In the case of lace ups or strap shoes, tie the shoes securely or buckle the straps securely so the foot is kept in the correct position and the slippage at the heel does not cause blisters.
Slipon shoes normally have to be bought shorter to stay on the foot, but remember they will be outgrown quicker thus needing to be changed more often.
Between the ages of starting to walk and 2 years the child's shoe size will change every month.
Between ages 2 - 6 every 1 to 2 months.
Between ages 6 - 10 every 2 to 3 months.
Between ages 10 - 12 every 3 to 4 months
Between ages 12 - 15 every 4 to 5 months.
Between ages 15 - 20 every 6 months.
Remember stockings that are to small can be as detrimental to growing feet as short shoes. They have to be changed in size as often. Be sure to pull them away from the toes before putting the child's shoes on.
The wear on the soles of any wearer's shoe should always be even with the balls of the shoe. As the shoes get outgrown the wear moves towards the toes and is a good indicator of the shoe becoming or being out grown.
There is a temptation to reuse hand me down older sibling's shoes. Shoes that are worn everyday can have the older wearers imprints in the insoles which can cause problems for the new wearer. This might be practical in the case of shoes that are only worn occasional for dress up as long as that is the size of the younger child.
If the sales people in the shoe store the child is taken to, asks the parent what size the child needs, they should run, not walk to another shoe store.
The salesperson should have a Brannock Shoe fitting device that is calibrated to measure feet. It has a slide on one side to measure the heel to ball as well as the heel to toe, and a slide to measure the width. It was developed to be used in tandem with a fitting stool that has an angled surface to place it on, and then the child's foot on the Brannock.
Unfortunately in the case of small children this cannot be done so the salesperson must place the child's foot on the Brannock device and simulate the pressure necessary to achieve the correct measurement. This can be difficult so the safest way in is to have the child stand with the foot on the Brannock device and fit a half size longer than the heel to toe measurement.
Two things to remember - 1. 99% of humans have one foot that is longer than the other( usually one half size), so measure both feet
2. Always fit to the larger foot. The shorter foot is usually proportionately the wider of the two and as a consequence will have no problem wearing the larger size.
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