With recent research from the UK suggesting more than a quarter of children wear the wrong sized shoes, a Sunshine Coast podiatry company is tackling the challenge head-on, offering free back-to-school shoe fittings for students in the lead-up to the 2018 school year.
Principal of Dan Everson Podiatry, Dan Everson, said the average child spent around 1,000 hours or more in school shoes each year, and as such, it was crucial the footwear provided appropriate support and comfort.
“Time and time again we have adults visit our clinic with podiatry concerns that have stemmed from issues initially experienced during childhood,” Mr Everson said.
“Addressing problems at a young age not only minimises pain and risk of injury among children, but also greatly reduces the likelihood of developing lifelong problems.”
“With this in mind, we are offering parents the opportunity to bring their children to our pop-up stall at Sunshine Plaza in Maroochydore between 8 January and 21 January for a free shoe fitting.”
“Families are also welcome to visit us at Rebel in Maroochydore, North Lakes and Indooroopilly or at our clinics in Indooroopilly, Deception Bay, Morayfield and Maroochydore.”
Mr Everson said trained personnel would use a purpose-built digital platform to detect each child’s key measurements and movement patterns, with qualified podiatrists also on-hand to offer advice and information.
“Our Sensokinetic platform is the most advanced orthotic therapy available and enables us to identify the best-fitting footwear for each child, as well as recognise where customised orthotics may be required to correct an individual’s gait or relieve pain.”
“Children’s feet in particular require substantial nurturing as they are generally more soft and pliable than adult feet, making them prone to damage from abnormal pressure.”
“While many people tend to associate podiatry intervention in children with issues like flat feet and ingrown toenails, our focus is also on identifying postural issues and optimising movement, driving better balance and performance both in daily life and on the sporting field.”
Mr Everson said a common mistake made when purchasing shoes was simply measuring one foot.
“Most adults and children have one foot that’s longer or wider than the other, so it’s important to check both feet when determining the correct shoe size.”
“Another helpful tip is to wait until the afternoon to purchase shoes, with feet often swelling throughout the day.”
“I also recommend conducting a shoe size check every six months for school-age children to ensure they are consistently wearing well-fitting shoes as they grow.”
Dan Everson Podiatry will offer free back-to-school shoe fittings between 8 and 21 January, with school teachers also invited to have their measurements taken.
For more information or to locate a clinic or pop-up stall in your area, please visit www.facebook.com/daneversonpodiatry or call 1300 130 410.
· Always measure both feet when buying shoes.
· Purchase shoes at the end of the day, when feet are generally at their biggest.
· Ensure there is a child’s thumb-width between the end of the shoe and the top of the longest toe.
· Select shoes with a strong and stable back.
· Select shoes with a fastening mechanism that holds the heel firmly at the back of the shoe.
· Ensure the widest part of the foot corresponds with the widest part of the shoe.
· Avoid purchasing shoes with minimal support such as fashion or skate shoes.
· Seek advice from a qualified podiatrist if:
o your child complains of pain in the feet, heel, knee or legs;
o your child has poor coordination or regularly trips or falls inexplicably;
o your child has poor posture.
o your child’s shoes wear unevenly or excessively;
o your child shows signs of skin or toenail irritation.