Is Your Child In Need Of Orthotic Treatment?

07 Nov 2019 orthotic


Foot health is sometimes ignored and doing so can lead to some bigger issues down the line. Neglecting your foot health can lead to problems and ongoing issues in the legs and lower back which can become very painful if left untreated. 


It’s imperative to take note of how your child’s foot is forming and developing as they age. Foot orthotics can help correct any emerging issues that your child might be suffering from.


What are the symptoms that your child might need orthotics?

If you’ve noticed any of the following, your child should be assessed by a podiatrist in case they need orthotics:

  • They have a hard time keeping up with their classmates
  • Their feet turn inwards
  • Their feet turn outwards
  • Their feet are flat (low or no arches)
  • They have high arches

What are the specific symptoms of foot problems that would require the use of orthotics?

If you’re feeling one or more of the following symptoms, it’s time you saw your podiatrist….

  • Pain in the feet, ankles, knees, legs or back
  • Pain while walking or running
  • If your child constantly wants to be carried more than other children in the same age group
  • If your child tells you that they do not wish to participate in sports

Non-verbal cues for children suffering from flat feet…

Children are tough! And, depending on their age, some children may not be old enough to articulate their pain in a way that makes sense to you. So, here’s a few things to look out for if you suspect your child may be suffering from flat feet;

  • If they favour one leg over another while walking
  • If they limp or drag their feet while walking
  • If they keep tripping over, are slightly clumsy or have a lack of coordination
  • If they have any stiffness in the foot and ankle
  • If they have a sudden change in the way that they walk

Also, when helping them to change their shoes, look out for:

  • Abnormally shaped toes
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Bunions (a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe) or other foot deformities such as bone spurs (bony lump that develops along bone edges)

How old does a child have to be to wear orthotics?

Children as young as 1 year old are eligible to wear orthotics.  However, this is considered a very rare occurrence. The biggest milestone to really keep an eye on is once they turn two-years-old. If your child isn’t walking by then, then a podiatrist should assess them.

How long does it take to get orthotics fitted?

There are many different types of orthotics available including off-the-shelf, mid-range and custom made. Once the podiatrist has performed an assessment and discussed the most suitable option then the orthotics can be fitted in 1 to 2 weeks. It is recommended that your child returns one month after wearing them for a follow-up assessment.

At Cannington Podiatry, we like to provide parents with the comfort of choice. That being said, custom foot orthotics (also known as total contact orthotics) are the most effective at hugging the arches of your child’s feet. Custom foot orthotics are custom made to suit their individual foot, evenly distributing weight-bearing forces across the whole foot.

If you have a family history of foot problems, is your child at risk?

Your child will be more likely to suffer from the same problems if there is a family history. Unfortunately, foot problems such as flat feet can be hereditary and are likely to be passed down. In this instance, if you do know of these problems in your family, it’s best to have your child assessed for the same issues.


For any information on orthotics or for any other foot-related queries, get in touch with Colin at Cannington Podiatry today!