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Your Child's Feet

Having strong, healthy feet allows your child to walk, run, and play. If your child's feet form correctly, certain types of back and leg pain can be avoided later in life. Your child's doctor may suggest a gentle stretching exercise to aid proper development.

Baby walking barefoot in the kitchen with the help of his mother.

Your Baby's Feet

Both the size and shape of your child's feet change quickly during the first year of life. Because a baby's feet are flexible, too much pressure or strain can affect the shape of the foot. To help ensure normal growth, allow your baby to kick and stretch his or her feet. Also, make sure shoes and socks

don't squeeze toes. Many infants have feet that appear to turn in. This may worry you, but it is rarely a problem. The shape of the foot changes as your child grows.

Your Toddler's Feet

Your toddler will walk when he or she is ready. Try not to force the issue. Instead, watch your child's gait once he or she does begin to walk. Does the toe touch down instead of the heel? Does your child always sit while others play actively? If so, talk with the doctor. If your toddler's feet are fat, flat, and floppy—don't worry. This is usually normal. Also, many toddlers toe-in, but most outgrow the problem.


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