Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Baby Steps
Shoes for youngsters

April 2003 Issue

Open Wide
Kids and dental care

Scrapbooking
Kids have
memories too

Baby Steps
Shoes for youngsters

Summer Backyard
Safety

Refinancing
Buyer beware

Mail Bag

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As any adult who has experienced any type of foot pain knows, the health and condition of your feet is vital in your ability to function on a daily basis. Chronic foot pain can be, at the least, an annoyance and, at the most, debilitating. Help your children start off on the right foot to a lifetime of healthy feet by using a little extra care when buying shoes.

Time has shown that the old-school methods of buying shoes to "grow into", shoes that need to be "broken in" or "hand-me-down" shoes are fraught with problems that can lead to difficulties in later years. Yes, children will most undoubtedly outgrow shoes before they wear them out. But ill-fitting shoes can be just as uncomfortable for children as they are for you.

You can use many of the same guidelines in buying shoes for your children as you do for yourself. First of all, shop for shoes in the later part of the day. Feet swell throughout the day and a shoe that might fit first thing in the morning could be unbearable by the end of the day. Second, choose shoes that fit well. There can be a bit of extra room but the shoe should not slide up and down on the heel when walking. Third, a child’s shoes should not have to be "broken in" —they should be comfortable to the child from the beginning.

Additionally, don’t guess at your child’s foot size. Have their feet measured each time you buy a pair of shoes and have your child try on both shoes. Finally, over a period of wear, shoes conform to our very individual feet. This makes the practice of "hand-me-down" shoes problematic. Allow each of your children to have their own pairs of shoes and replace them at the first sign they have been outgrown. Examine your child’s feet after they remove their shoes. If you see red pressure marks or signs of rubbing—it's time for a new pair. Remember, when it comes to your child’s feet, a little extra investment is all it takes to help them put their best foot forward.

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