Flat feet is a fairly common issue among children today. Very young children have additional fatty pads on the soles of their feet, so their feet look quite flat until they start to walk. As a child starts to walk, they will gradually start to form arches. However, there may be times that the arches never develop properly. While this does not always cause pain for the child, it may result in gait problems and pain in the future. The podiatrist can analyze a child's gait and examine their feet closely to determine whether treatment needs to start or whether the feet are likely to develop arches on their own.
It is natural for parents to be concerned when they see their child's toes consistently pointing inwards. The approach to in-toeing depends on the child's age and on the severity of the issue. Some young children will grow out of in-toeing as they grow stronger and more sure of themselves while walking. However, if a child does not have resolution of in-toeing, there are effective ways to address the problem. Custom orthotics may be helpful, and the podiatrist may also have some other suggestions such as special exercises. For severe in-toeing that isn't resolved by the time a young person is in their "tween" years, a simple surgical correction may be the best solution.
Footwear for kids should be focused on keeping their small feet well supported and healthy. This means breathable materials, strong heels, firm soles, and plenty of cushioning. The podiatrist can recommend shoes and can also prescribe custom orthotics if the child has a specific foot issue that requires correction.