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Children's Feet

How often do I need to change my child’s shoes? This depends on the child and their age. On average children’s feet grow two sizes per year in the first four years of life and one size per year thereafter until growth is complete. However, this does vary. Ideally you should check every 8 weeks.

How can I check that my child’s shoes fit properly? An easy way to check the length is to cut a strip of paper by tracing their insole. Place this against the wall and get the child to stand on it. Measure the distance between the longest toe and the end of the piece of paper. A newly fitted shoe will be approximately 12 – 16 mm longer than the longest toe to allow for growth and the foot elongating when walking. Shoes that are only 5mm longer should be regarded as too short and replaced.

Should my child wear the same shoes everyday? Not everyone is able to afford several pairs of everyday shoes for their child. Ideally, different shoes should be worn on every second day to allow the shoe to dry out, as children’s feet can be particularly sweaty. Wearing damp shoes all the time can lead to athlete’s foot and plantar warts.

What socks are best? The sock should fit and be the same size as the shoe. 100% cotton is best, particularly if the child has skin problems. Most cotton socks contain a small percentage of nylon (50/50 mix is best). Avoid 100% nylon socks as they will make the foot sweat and do not absorb moisture.

Are there any warning signs I should look for when I check my child’s feet? These can be broken down into four areas. These are skin, nails, deformities and posture.

Skin – look for areas of redness and rashes particularly between the toes, in the arches and below the ankle bones. This indicates athlete’s foot, particularly if they are itchy. Look for red marks and/or blisters at the back of the heel and on the tops of the small joints of the toes indicating ill-fitting shoes. Raised and painful hard masses on the soles of the feet may indicate a plantar wart.

Nails – any inflammation around the nails should be taken seriously as it may indicate infection. Any discolouration of the toenails should be checked by your chiropodist or podiatrist.

Deformities - Toes should always be straight in line with the foot and not drawn back or curled. The fifth toe may tuck under the fourth slightly and the fourth under the third toe but the big toe should also be straight.

Posture – If the feet appear to be excessively turned in or out or the arch looks very flat, particularly if the child complains of pain; see your chiropodist or podiatrist.


Source:, August 19, 2009 Produced by the Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine 1-888-706-4444

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David Simard


David Simard has been practicing chiropody for the past 20 years.  He currently practices in Sault Ste. Marie, ON and his services extend to the Greater Algoma District.

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Common Problems

Common-ProblemsFoot and ankle problems are usually acquired from improper footwear, physical stress, or small mechanical changes within the foot, arthritic foot problems, congenital foot problems, which occur at birth, and infectious foot problems.



Sports Injury

Sports-InjuryAnkle sprains are the most common of all athletic injuries. Ankle sprains involving the lateral or outside part of the ankle are referred to as inversion sprains and are by far the most common type. Most inversion sprains occur during sports which involve jumping and side to side movement like basketball, volleyball and soccer.



Diabetic Feet

Diabetic-FootMost of us are aware that people with diabetes require special attention for their feet, but many do not know why. As foot specialists, Chiropodists deal with a wide range of issues related to diabetes on a daily basis. Much of our focus is on patient education, as we strive to prevent common complications, such as ulcers, infections and undetected trauma.



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