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Parents risking long-term damage to childrens feet

Monday 3rd July 2017
Some 29 per cent of children are regularly wearing shoes that could cause long-term damage to their feet, according to a new report. Image: arapix via iStock
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More than one-quarter (29 per cent) of children in the UK could be at risk of long-term damage to their feet due to wearing the wrong size shoes, a new report has warned.
Research from the College of Podiatry that saw 2,000 parents questioned about their children's shoes led to the discovery that over half (55 per cent) of youngsters have suffered from blisters, bruises or calluses on their feet as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes in the past.
What's more, 56 per cent of mums and dads admitted that they had previously bought shoes for their children without getting their feet measured or knowing that they fit properly, while 13 per cent didn't know their child's current shoe size.
Podiatrist Dr Stewart Morrison commented: "It is worrying that so many children are wearing shoes which either don't fit them properly or are not suitable for everyday wear.
"Wearing the wrong size or type of shoe in the short term causes blisters, rubbing, bruising and calluses, but in the long term it could affect foot development and result in musculoskeletal issues in the future."
Parents who feel pressured to buy fashionable rather than supportive footwear for their children are increasing this risk further, with 22 per cent admitting to giving in and purchasing flip flops or ballet-style pumps for their daughters despite their lack of support.
It is recommended that young girls do not wear shoes with a heel, but the survey results showed that nearly one in ten - some of whom are as young as six-years-old - are wearing shoes with a heel of two centimetres or higher, increasing their risk of long-term foot problems in the future.
With all of this in mind, the College of Podiatry recommends that parents should buy their children shoes that match both the length and width of their foot, have a stable heel, a shaped rather than pointed toe and are made out of a soft and flexible but hard-wearing material, such as leather.
Written by Angela Newbury
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