Best evidence suggests most children’s flat feet will be fine
A recent article in The Conversation raised unnecessary alarm about children’s flat feet.
The article isn’t supported by the best evidence and may have worried parents.
The most recent evidence confirms it’s normal for young, healthy and active children to have flexible flat feet, and these flat feet will get less flat over time.
Flat feet require assessment if they hurt, look different left and right, or if they occur in older children, with few requiring treatment.
Children’s flat feet reduce as they grow
Approximately 15-20% of healthy children have flexible flat feet.
Studies have consistently shown a higher prevalence of flat feet in younger children, fewer flat feet in older children, and a return towards flatter feet in older adults.
A 2019 study looked at over 3,000 children’s feet. It found the normal foot posture across childhood is flat (also known as “pronated”) and children’s flat feet tend to get less flat as they get older.
Another study published in 2018 followed more than 1,000 healthy children for three years. It shows foot posture does “straighten” with time, so there are fewer flat feet in older children.
This study also found high arch feet (the opposite of flat feet) are unusual. So, children with high arch feet are the ones to watch.
See the following link for more info: https://theconversation.com/best-evidence-suggests-most-childrens-flat-feet-will-be-fine-176673?utm_source=newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ttt-issue69-22mar2022