Meet Bobux's Paediatric Podiatrist: Anna Beetham 

March 07, 2016
Meet Bobux's Paediatric Podiatrist: Anna Beetham

Bobux is dedicated to designing and creating shoes that meet the needs of children’s feet at every stage of their development journey, helping meet their usage needs across a wide range of activities while supporting the healthy, natural development of their feet. And when Bobux need advice on how they can make their shoes even better, its Anna Beetham they turn to.

Anna is a paediatric podiatrist who is passionate about the development of little feet. Having previously worked in sports medicine, Anna turned her attention to children’s feet after having children of her own.

She now works with Bobux, assisting with their constant product development.

We sat down with mother of two, Anna, to discuss what is normal, and what is not when it comes to children’s feet.

kids try on shoes

When you think about the physical development between birth and six years of age, there is a lot that goes on. That is why it is essential that the correct footwear is selected to ensure your child’s feet develop as they should.

Where possible, Anna believes barefoot is best. The sensory feedback toddlers receive from the ground means there is less need to look down, which is what puts them off balance and causes them to fall down.

Therefore, going barefoot not only develops the foots muscles, ligaments and strength as well as its arch, but also helps develop coordination and good posture.

Obviously, going barefoot is not always safe or practical, so when shoes are required there are a few important things to consider when choosing the right shoe for your child.

fitting

Anna is not as concerned about the appearance of children’s shoes, instead focusing on whether children are tripping over regularly or are in pain. Alarmingly, if your child is experiencing pain in their feet, it is an indicator that damage has already occurred. Therefore, it is essential your child is in the correct footwear from their very first shoe.

Flexibility is crucial in ensuring your child’s feet are developing as they should, so tight fitting socks, rigid soles and materials that don’t move or flex should be avoided.

As well as this, it is important to choose the correct shoe for whatever stage of development your child may be in. Foot shape is more accurately dictated by the stage of development, as apposed to their age.

To assist you in choosing which shoe is right for your little one, Bobux, with Anna’s assistance, have broken their range into three distinct stages. These stages are as followed;

  • Soft Sole: Not walking or crawling yet. Sitting and some crawling taking place.
  • Step-up: Cruising, assisted walking, and walking, still crawling on occasion.
  • I-Walk: Walking, running, jumping and generally being a chaotic ball of energy.

Childrens feet grow very quickly so make sure you are updating their shoes regularly to ensure maximum flexibility and proper development.

combination

Sometimes, in spite of all your best efforts, you may notice your child’s development isn’t going exactly to plan.

There are a number of conditions that may occur, some of which may correct themselves without treatment, while others don’t or become more severe because of other medical conditions.

Then there are some conditions that, just like dimples, are simply normal variations of human anatomy and do not need to be treated.

diagram

Flatfeet, toe walking, pigeon toes, bowlegs and knock-knees are all common among children and while parents often worry, most of the time kids will grow out of these conditions.

In fact, almost every child is born flat-footed as the muscles and ligament are under developed.

However, if you are worried about the development of your child’s feet in anyway it is always best to seek advice from a doctor or podiatrist. You can never be to careful when it comes to the health and development of your little one.

All the information above is the opinion of the writer only. Information provided is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.