Thursday February 22, 1996

The wrong shoe can start children off on the wrong foot

Children can experience foot problems if their parents do not know when to purchase new shoes for tots or the type of shoes they need.

"Parents' misconceptions about purchasing children's shoes is common," said David M. Drvaric, MD, staff orthopaedic surgeon, department of orthopaedic surgery, Shriners Hospital, Springfield, Mass. "However, if they remember the basic principle that certain shoes are appropriate for children at specific ages, they should be fine."

In scientific exhibit S 21, Dr. Drvaric and his colleagues developed guidelines that instruct parents how to find properly-fitting shoes for their children that will help avoid foot problems like corns, calluses, and blisters.

According to Dr. Drvaric, an average child's foot follows a specific growth pattern. It is:

Once parents know their child's growth pattern, selecting the shoe style can be easier, says Dr. Drvaric. "However, there are specific rules that parents must follow for certain age groups."

Dr. Drvaric stresses that if parents have difficulty in locating shoes that properly fit, they should consult an orthopaedic surgeon for advice.

"There are so many varieties of shoes to choose, it can be overwhelming," said Dr. Drvaric. "If parents have questions, it is always best to seek medical advice."

The scientific exhibit was sponsored by the Committee on Pediatrics of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.

Orthopaedic surgeons, all members of the committee, contributing to the exhibit with Dr. Drvaric are Richard A. Elkus, MD, committee chairman; Richard S. Davidson, MD; Earl N. Feiwell, MD; Richard J. Haynes, MD; Juan A. Realyvasquez, MD; Peter B. Salamon, MD; Walther H.O. Bohne, MD; Seymour Zimbler, MD; and Dennis R. Roy, MD.

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Last modified 27/September/1996