So you go to the children's footwear store with enthusiasm and excitement. And here the stairs begin. The choice is huge, the design is even more diverse. There are naturally saleswomen who will gladly help, advise and suggest. However, there remains a doubt - Do they know how to choose the right footwear for our child? Unfortunately, it is very different in this matter, with a lack of adequate knowledge. Stores employing clerks or clerks, rarely care about their substantive preparation.
Therefore, based on the knowledge gained from a specialist, I will try to help myself find myself in the wide and colorful world of children's shoes.
First baby shoes
There are many theories about the selection of "first" shoes for a child. For many years, there is a belief that they should be orthopedic shoes. In fact, however, they can be any shoes, as long as they meet several requirements.
- Heel part it should be stiffened so as to keep the ankle joint just forming. It is not said that it MUST be tall, reaching above the hocks. Such elevated footwear is called semi-orthopedic shoes.
- The upper part it should be built-up enough (be it material, velcro or shoelace) to "hold" the leg in the shoe. It is important that the child's foot does not fly.
- The insole of the shoe should be contoured (be domed from the inside of the foot)
- The material from which the shoes are made should be both inside and outside natural and airy. It can therefore be leather, cotton. It is important that this material is not plastic (also so-called ecological leather, which is nothing more than leather-like material). Let's remember that apart from shaping the child's attitude, his body is also regulated. The use of "artificial" material can (but does not have to) result in bad-smelling feet in the future.
- Sole of shoes it should be stiff enough to not be able to "fold" the heel toes. However, it should not be so stiff that such a move cannot be made.
In fact, these are the only requirements for children's shoes. It is important to simultaneously buy shoes watch the child. This observation can draw attention to emerging problems with posture or dispel doubts about the child.
Let's watch the child
- Let us pay attention whether the folds on our child's legs are symmetrical to each other. Any visible difference should be consulted with a pediatrician and if in doubt with an orthopedist.
- We carefully watch HOW our child puts feet - whether symmetrically relative to each other, or maybe one "payment" more than the other.
- Let's see how the baby's spine is arranged while walking. Together with the shoulder belt, it should form a neat letter T. If we notice a curvature - we should consult it with a pediatrician, and in case of further doubts, with an orthopedist. Remember, parents, that a pediatrician does not have to know everything about our child. If his opinion seems too laconic or insufficient, ask for a referral to a specialist.
- If possible, let the child on running barefoot. A child's bare feet are the best "footwear" we can offer him.
- Very good for child's posture development, balance and foot formation walking on an uneven surface, of course barefoot. If we have a garden with a lawn - let the child play and explore it without shoes. If we live in a block of flats and we are far away from the nearest clean greenery, let's try to arrange the uneven area at home for the child. It can be a rough rug, rubber doormat, non-slip mat (e.g. removed from the shower) or a special rug with tabs and bumps (available for purchase at stores with rehabilitation equipment, kindergarten supplies or gymnastics accessories). Sand, small stones and even pavement are also great.
- It is also worth it observe the child's behavior in and without shoes. It may turn out that we have found this case, to which the stiff and high (because most often such shoes are bought by parents - with a high heel part, so-called semi-orthopedic) the heel part simply receives walking comfort. Such a child will not want to learn to walk in this kind of shoes. If we observe this situation, it is better to change the child's footwear to a more flexible (but retaining the above structural indications) than to discourage them from learning. There are known cases of children who under the influence of forcing to walk in uncomfortable (according to the child) footwear completely stopped learning to walk!
For a more efficient runner
When our Malec knows how to walk smoothly, he can be sure that it is a sign that we can be less restrictive when choosing shoes. Next, however, shoes should be:
- Stiffened in the heel part (stiffening should be used for at least 3-4 years of age). This does not mean, however, that we can not buy a child shoes or slippers. It is important that the heel part is stiffened!
- The sole of a child's shoe may already be flexible enough to be able to fold the heel part and touch to part of the toes.
- It is still worth looking for and choosing shoes from natural materials.
- All recommendations for shoes for beginners can be used in shoes for children up to 3 years old. Specialists (both children's orthopedists and footwear technologists) advise against using shoes with an open heel, so all types of flip-flops or Crocs fall off. The ankle and its vicinity are a cluster of many bones, bones and cartilage. In the initial period, they must form, learn to cooperate and settle down firmly enough to support our body throughout their lives. That is why it is so important to help shoes shape this part of the foot properly.
A child aged 3-4 years already gives us a wide range of options when choosing shoes. We can afford considerable freedom. If the child has no problems with walking, spine or posture, we can almost choose his footwear. However, always remember to observe. Just because a shoe is suitable for us does not mean that it will also be for a child. And I do not mean the beauty of the selected couple. Although this probably is not insignificant, especially for Little Hipsters.
In case of any doubts or questions let's go to the Pediatrician or Orthopaedist. They will be able to answer our bothering questions based on an interview with us, as well as observing a child or examining him. It may turn out that some children at this age can freely choose their shoes, while others should still follow the recommendations listed for younger Toddlers. Everything is an individual matter.
Some important issues and general comments:
- Shoes for our child They MUST NOT be expensiveneither super branded. If they meet the design recommendations, they can be from both a chain store and a boutique.
- We also do not use orthopedic shoes for a child unless explicitly recommended.
- It is worth to avoid in the initial period bazaars and stall shoes. Stiffening in such shoes may be apparent (e.g. inside is a normal cardboard, or double material) and during the first rain or during short use it can "make" so much that it will not hold the heel and ankle of the child.
- Let's not save on shoes, giving the child used pairs, e.g. after siblings, friends or bought in ciuchland. It is better to buy cheaper shoes, but new than hand over shoes. Why? As I have already mentioned several times - while walking, the child forms his posture, shapes the layout of the foot, the way it is put up, etc. The shoe is made for the owner. Each child walks differently, learns in a different way, so each shoe is deformed differently during use. By giving the child a used shoe, so deformed by its predecessor, we kind of impose on our Malt the way of walking and putting the foot, which was presented by the child walking in these shoes first. This does not mean that we hurt the child, but we expose them to take over bad walking habits or to adapt the predecessor's habit to our child's needs.
- Let us also remember that one child is more or less chubby than the other, others higher or lower, yet others used to walk barefoot and spent other days in shoes. All this has a direct impact on his INDIVIDUAL gait.
Dear parents, I will not say anything new. OBSERVE the child, his reactions, mood and desire. If under the influence of shoes his willingness to walk independently decreases - let's think about what may be the reason. Maybe we bought shoes that are too big and the leg inside them "summer", maybe they are too tight and rub a small foot (not necessarily in the heel. Maybe the plump foot is rubbed or pressed in the midfoot?), Or maybe they give too little freedom to the child? Sometimes the answer to these questions can be surprisingly easy.