Flat Feet (Children)

Flat feet, also known as pes planus, is a condition characterised by a lack of arch in the foot. In children, flat feet are relatively common and often a normal part of development. From a podiatry perspective, understanding the nuances of flat feet in children involves assessing the structure of the feet, the child’s age, and the presence of associated symptoms.

Key Points about Flat Feet in Children:

  • Normal Development: Infants and toddlers typically have flat feet because the arches of the feet are still developing. The arches may not fully form until the age of 6 or older.
  • Flexible vs. Rigid Flat Feet:
    • Flexible Flat Feet: Most children with flat feet have a flexible condition, meaning that when they stand, the arches may appear to flatten, but they can still be seen when the child is off their feet. This is often a normal part of development.
    • Rigid Flat Feet: In some cases, the arch remains flat even when the child is not weight-bearing. This may be associated with an underlying issue and requires closer evaluation.

What are the causes of flat feet in children?

Common causes of flat feet in children include genetic factors, loose ligaments, and developmental variations. Injury or trauma to the foot or ankle can also contribute.

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What are the associated symptoms of flat feet? 

While many children with flat feet do not experience pain or discomfort, some may complain of foot pain, fatigue, or difficulty with activities. Podiatrists pay attention to associated symptoms to determine the impact of flat feet on a child’s well-being.

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