Where would you be without your legs and feet? They do a lot to get you where you need to go.
But sometimes, kids have problems with these important body parts. Their legs and feet might look different or might not work exactly the way they should.
The good news is that these problems usually aren't serious. They either go away on their own or the kid learns to handle them by using stuff like special shoe inserts.
Pigeon toes, or inwardly turning toes, is a common foot condition in kids. It happens when the front of the foot is turned inward, facing the other foot. Boys and girls both experience pigeon toes. Most kids' feet straighten naturally without any medical treatment.
When someone stands with the feet and ankles together but the knees widely apart, we call that being bowlegged. Many babies are born bowlegged because their legs were folded tightly across their bellies while they were growing inside their mom. Bowlegs usually straighten once babies with this condition start to walk and their legs bear weight. By age 3, most kids grow out of the condition.
Knock-knees is a condition where the legs curve in at the knees so much that the ankles are separated. Lots of kids become knock-kneed between the ages of 3 and 5. But around age 6, the body begins to straighten naturally, and within a few years most kids can stand with their knees and ankles touching at the same time.
Stand sideways in front of a mirror. Rise up on your toes. Can you see the arch (curve) in the bottom your feet? Most of us have some sort of arch on the bottom of the feet between our toes and heel. Someone who doesn't have this curve might have flexible flatfeet. That means more of the person's foot surface is in contact with the ground. In a typical foot, the arch part wouldn't touch the ground.
Most babies are born with almost no arch in their feet. Within 2 to 3 years, after kids have been walking for a while, the arch develops. Wearing the right kind of shoes — ones that are flexible, not stiff — helps kids' feet develop the way they should.
About 1 in 7 kids never develop a full arch. Very rarely, this requires surgery. Some kids might wear arch supports if their feet hurt. But most of the time, flatfeet don't cause pain or problems. In other words, if your feet are flat, they're fine!
|American Physical Therapy Association This organization provides information on physical therapy, from therapists in each state to current research.|
|Blisters, Calluses, and Corns Ouch! What are blisters, calluses, and corns? Find out in this article for kids.|
|Athlete's Foot Anyone can get athlete's foot. Find out how to avoid this itchy skin condition in this article for kids.|
|Osgood-Schlatter Disease Osgood-Schlatter disease isn't serious, but it causes knee pain in athletes. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Why Do Feet Stink? Your hard-working feet sometimes start stinking. Find out why in this article for kids.|
|Arthritis Kids can get a kind of arthritis that causes joint pain. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Going to a Physical Therapist Physical therapy uses exercises and other special treatments to help people move their bodies. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Why Does My Foot Fall Asleep? Is your foot asleep? Find out why in this article for kids.|
|Scoliosis The word scoliosis means a curve in the spine. You may know someone with scoliosis - read our article for kids to find out more.|
|Word! Gait Abnormality A gait abnormality is when someone walks in an unusual way.|
|Cool Cast Facts Some injuries will heal best if a cast or splint is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.