Our exciting collaboration with Start-Rite shoes is now available, and we hope you love the styles as much as we do. The collection features much-loved JoJo designs on Start-Rite’s bestselling baby and toddler shoes, specially designed to support growing feet and promote the development of healthy feet. Getting fitted for Start-Rite shoes is a great place to start, and we’ve also rounded up some tips to help you look after your child’s feet as they become more confident walkers.
It’s important that your child is wearing shoes that are neither too big nor too small, so it’s a good idea to get their feet professionally measured before buying shoes. Avoid handing down shoes from older siblings as the shoes will have moulded to their own feet and no two pairs of feet are the same!
LOOK OUT FOR SIGNS
Even if your toddler doesn’t/can’t tell you if their shoes are causing pain or discomfort, you can look for other signs. For example, if they are constantly taking their shoes off, or you notice redness or blisters on their feet, it probably means their shoes are uncomfortable or ill-fitting.
DON’T FORGET SOCKS
As well as well-fitting shoes, make sure your toddler is wearing the right sized socks and tights with enough room to wiggle their toes and allow their feet to develop normally. But don’t go too big! Bunching can cause rubbing, blisters and discomfort so check the fit carefully. Choose soft, breathable cotton rich socks to help prevent moisture forming.
Allow plenty of barefoot time when in indoors, which allows the muscles in the feet to strengthen and helps to develop the grasping action of the toes. Your toddler will also enjoy feeling the different sensations of a variety of surfaces on their feet.
If your toddler has a tendency to walk on their toes without putting much weight on their heels, remember this is normal in younger children. However, it doesn’t normally persist beyond around three years of age, so get your child referred to a physiotherapist by your GP if it’s still happening.
Toddlers’ feet are growing rapidly, so make sure you measure their feet regularly. Start-Rite recommend every 6-8 weeks to ensure your child is always wearing the right size.
Cut toenails straight across (rather than curved) and not too short, to avoid ingrowing nails. If you do spot an ingrown toenail, make an appointment with your GP who can arrange a simple procedure to correct it.
Wash your toddler’s feet thoroughly at bath time, and make sure you dry them well, paying careful attention between the toes. This will help prevent bacterial and fungal infections that thrive in moist conditions such as athlete’s foot.
Avoid the temptation to allow your toddler to play outside without wearing shoes. Not only does going shoeless put them at risk of cuts and splinters, they can also pick up wart-causing viruses that enter through breaks in the skin.
DON’T SKIP THE SPF
When children are outdoors (particularly in summer) and are wearing any type of sandal or open shoes, make sure you apply SPF to any exposed areas of the feet. The tops of feet are particularly sensitive to sunburn, so make sure they are well protected.
If you’re concerned about your toddler’s feet, speak to your GP who can refer you to a podiatrist or chiropractor for specialist advice.