My Child Has Flat Feet. Should I Worry?

by | Sep 1, 2017 | Heel and Arch Pain

Flat feet in adulthood is linked to a laundry list of problems—pain, soreness, increased risk of injury, increased risk of developing deformities like bunions and hammertoes…you get the idea. So naturally, parents are often concerned when they can see their little one’s full sole making contact with the ground. If your child has flat feet, does it mean they’re fated to a lifetime of limited mobility? Can anything be done?

Slow down a second! We’ll start with the good news. If your child has flat feet, they will probably grow out of it naturally as they get older.

In most cases, flatfoot in kids is flexible. You can see an arch in non-weight bearing situations—for example, when they sit in a high chair. When your child stands, however, the arch flattens. This is a very normal consequence of young bones and joints being much softer than mature ones. As your child continues to grow, the arch should develop a more permanent, rigid shape.

Childhood flatfoot

However, here’s the bad news. It is true that not all children will eventually develop a rigid arch. For some kids, that arch never forms, and flatfoot persists into adulthood. In other cases, kids are born with (or develop) a rigid flatfoot. For example, kids could be born with fused hindfoot bones (call tarsal coalition) that prevents them from developing a healthy arch.

The most important advice if you notice your child is walking with flat arches? Don’t worry and don’t panic, but do bring them in to see the team at the Kansas Foot Center. Again, we want to stress to you that, very likely, there shouldn’t be any long-term problems. However, if your child does have a more permanent or rigid flatfoot, it’s best to catch it early. Depending on the root cause (neurological condition, bony deformity, etc.) it may be corrected (or at least managed) so that your child can continue to engage in normal activity without pain.

To schedule an appointment for you and your child, please call the Kansas Foot Center in Wichita today at (886) 222-5177, or drop us a line using our online contact form.