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APMA's FAQs About Pregnancy and Pediatric Foot Health

Posted Dec 28 2011 12:00am
Whether you are expecting your first child or your third, it is natural to be concerned about the child's health.  This concern becomes especially prevelant in mother's who are expecting.  Pregnancy affects a woman's body in many ways and the feet are no exception.  It is also normal to be worried about your child's devolpment. The first step in easing this worry is education. The American Podiatric Medical Association recognizes the need for mother's and father's to have good information about the health of their children and compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about foot health for children and pregnant women.

Frequently Asked Questions
Pregnancy and Pediatric Foot Health*

1. How Does Pregnancy Impact the Feet?
Pregnancy can impact the feet in numerous ways, from over pronation and plantar fasciitis due to increased body weight to an increase in foot size related to hormonal changes and leg cramps because of impeded circulation.

2. Is it normal for my baby's feet to look discolored or wrinkled or for his/her skin to peel when he/she is born? 
Babies spend anywhere from nine to ten month in a shelter protective fluid.  The feet need just as much time to fill out and turn a normal color as the rest of the body Once you give birth, your obscetrician and later your pediatrician will look for obvious abnormalities of your baby's feet and legs.

3. Are there certain things I can do to care for my baby's feet?
Caring for your baby's feed is no different than the care you provide to the rest of his/her body. Trim your child's toenails with baby nail clippers, making sure to cut straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Also, be sure to thouroghly dry your baby's feet after a bath. Try Smartknit Kid's Seamless Sensitivity Socks - these soft anti-microbial socks don't wrinkle or bunch and are proven to reduce irritation on your tot's tootsies.

4. At What age should my child take his/her first step?
When physically and emotionally ready, your child will walk. Comparisons with other children are misleading, since the age for independent walking ranges from 10 - 18 months.

5. When should I put my baby in his/her first pair of shoes?
When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors. Allowing your youngster to go barefoot or to wear only socks helps the foot to grow normally and to develop musulature and strength, as well as the grasping action of toes. Of course, when walking outside or on rough surfaces, babies' feet should be protected in lightweight, flexible foot wear made of natural materials. Try Pedipeds- designed for infants and toddlers up to two years old, these soft, hand-stitched shoes provide a safe environment for tiny toes while allowing plenty of room for foot growth and muscle development.

6. When shoud I take my child to see a podiatrist?
The APMA recommends having your child examined by an APMA member podiatrist, if there is a family history of foot problems, once he/she begins to walk to make sure his/her feet are progressing normally. Many APMA member podiatrists special pediatrics.

7. When is a child's foot fully developed and why is this important?
Full skeletal maturity takes place in most individuals between the ages of 18-23 years of age. Foot maturity continues while many children are active on their feet. It is important to have your child's feet checked regularly by an APMA member podiatrist.

8. What steps should be taken to make sure a child's feet are not at risk when participating in sports?
When you child participates in sports, make sure he/she wears sport-specific shoes that fit properly. He/she should also warm up and cool down before and after participating in a sport and avoid poor outside playing conditions, such as very wet grass.

*source http://www.apma.org/
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