Parents are delighted when their children take their first steps, but it is important not to force children into walking.  They will start when they are good and ready (between ten and eighteen months).

A thick pad of fat covers the soles of babies’ feet, which gives then the appearance of “flat” feet.  Once children begin walking, foot muscles and tendons strengthen, fully developing the arches by age six or eight.  Most pediatric orthopedists believe attempts to correct “flat: feet are unnecessary.  Shoes aren’t necessary in the early stages.

In fact, the less covering the better, while they are safely indoors.  Walking barefoot is, after all, natural and allows the foot to develop and strengthen the muscles they will need for getting about.  You don’t catch colds or chills through your feet but don’t let your children walk barefoot in dirty areas where there is risk of injury or infection.

Many foot ailments have their origins in childhood.  With care and attention, and regular checkups, those baby feet need never turn into problem feet.  Considering what we expect of our feet throughout our lives, care in the early stages is a sound investment for the future.