Parents worry about flat feet, but they are normal in babies and small children.
A child's arch develops whether the child wears shoes or goes barefoot. Special wedges, inserts, or heels are not necessary for the normal toddler who has flexible flat feet.
One in seven children never develops an arch.
Children usually have low arches because they are loose-jointed.
The arch flattens when they are standing up.
But you can see the arch when the feet are hanging free, or when the child stands on his or her toes.
Just as some normal children are taller than others, some normal arches are taller than others.
Wearing a pad under the arch of a simple flat foot may make the child less comfortable and will not change the child's arch.
A doctor is concerned if the flatfoot is:
- Stiff; You cannot make the toes bend up or down
- Or if the child seems to walk only on the inside of the foot (pronated) instead of the entire foot surface.
© 2016 Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt