As a parent you want your child to put a best foot forward in school, but that can be at odds with today’s fashion tends. To protect the foot (ankle and knee) a child needs a properly fitted, sufficiently padded, and supportive shoe or sneaker that is appropriate for school activity.
A child’s stroll through the hallways can change in a flash from a slow walk, to a quick jog, into a flat out run. Does that shoe or sneaker your child is wearing have enough grip, or too much grip, to negotiate those activities? Will the footwear promote proper balance and alignment of the ankle, knee, hips and pelvis? Will your child’s footwear absorb the impact from physical contact or uneven surfaces? Does the sneaker or shoe allow your child to negotiate a curb, manage a step up, or step down, maybe even sideways, in a crowd?
Sprinting or lifting can exert up to 400 plus pounds on each foot per step depending on the weight of the child.
When a child jumps, the concentration of the force when landing may put stress be on an area equal to the size of a postage stamp.
The foot accounts for 3 percent of the body’s weight yet must support and control the 97 percent of the body’s weight.
Many students wear a fashionable sneaker to school, then wear that same sneaker in gym class. Doing so may result in many unnecessary trips to the nurse’s office and missed time in class.
If you can afford two pairs of athletic shoes, alternate the footwear daily. Crepe soles absorb the shock and a shoe with padding will help prevent heel pain.
If your child wants to wear a fashion sneaker to school, like the Converse sneaker, your child will need to bring another sneaker that is padded and supportive for physical education, after school athletics, recess and roof play.
If your child’s shoe laces spend more time unlaced than laced, consider ones with Velcro closures.
If your child wears party shoes or ballet shoes to school, also pack footwear that is supportive and padded so your child can change before participating in physical activities.
Avoid shoes that have smooth, slippery soles that do not grip on snowy or wet surfaces and may prove difficult when going down stairs. Shoes with thick soles or with too much grip can cause a fall as well.
Check that the soles of your child’s sneakers are not worn, have holes, or become unglued.
Heels higher than one and half an inch are not for school activities.
Shoes that are too loose or too tight, may cause foot problems. If your child does develop a blister, treat with moleskin to promote comfort and healing.
Make sure your child wears properly fitted cotton socks to absorb moisture and cushion the foot.