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What shoes are suitable for the child? This is a frequent question in pediatric consultations. A few years ago, rigid shoes that supported the ankle were advised, but these recommendations have changed in recent years. Pediatric podiatrists and orthopedic traumatologists recommend a flexible shoe that does not compress or hold the foot excessively, as this would strain the muscles, prevent the correct development of the foot and could lead to incorrect supports.
Thus, a very rigid sole prevents the baby from bending the toes properly, forcing the foot to step flat and raising the knees more. The recommendation is that the child or baby walk barefoot whenever possible, or with non-slip socks.
According to the different ages we follow these recommendations:
1. In the first months of life, soft socks or booties should be chosen so that they do not hinder the movement of the fingers and feet.
2. In the crawling stage the baby can go barefoot or with non-slip socks, and outside with little shoes that adapt well to his skin and with a flexible sole. Buckles are not recommended as they can cause erosions on the back of the foot. They should not be forced to walk or stand, and walkers should not be used (taca-taca).
3. In the first steps stage, you should also ensure that you go barefoot or with socks for as long as possible indoors. Outdoors, you will use a flexible shoe that does not cover your ankle, but is reinforced on the back and sides (buttress).
4. In the first years, autonomy is encouraged if the shoes have velcro, since they can be put on and taken off by themselves.
- The shape of the shoe should be wide, with a flexible front part.
- The instep of the shoe must be made of soft leather, the sole will be flexible and non-slip, the height must not exceed the malleoli (the ankle).
- It is convenient that the shoe is used only by one child, since each child treads in a different way.
- In summer the sandals must be well tied, without elements between the first and second toes.
During the first 10 years of life when the foot grows very quickly, it should be checked at least once a month if the footwear has become too small:
1. We can check that the longest toe (the first or sometimes the second) is 1.5 cm from the toe. When in doubt, a somewhat large shoe is better than very tight.
2. Insert the index finger without too much effort between heel and shoe.
3. Check that there are no reddened areas on the foot, as it could indicate excessive pressure from the shoe.
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