Holiday shopping, decorating, parties and traveling are all part of our holiday revelries. But while you’re making all that merriment, how happy are your feet?
You may be doing a lot of walking, dancing, standing, and sitting in one position throughout the holiday season. “Half of all Americans report experiencing foot pain at some point in their lives, according to a survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA),” says Donald J. Adamov, DPM, a podiatrist and APMA member. “No one wants soreness or injuries to slow them down during the holidays, so it’s important to care for your feet so they can carry you through all those seasonal celebrations and chores.”
APMA offers some advice for keeping feet healthy (and happy) this holiday season:
Feet shouldn’t hurt all the time. “Persistent foot pain can be an indication of injury, irritation, or illness,” Dr. Adamov adds. “See a podiatrist if you experience pain; don’t wait until the holidays end!”
What is it about children's feet that make them seem like the fastest-growing part of their bodies? With back-to-school shopping behind you for another year, you might hope you can stop spending on shoes—at least until flip-flop season arrives with spring. But kids’ feet do grow year round, right along with the rest of them. In fact, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), a child’s shoe and sock sizes may change every few months. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are among the most important articles of clothing you’ll buy for your child at any time of year. Ill-fitting shoes can cause problems that range from minor blisters and discomfort to serious injuries and impaired development.
“A pair of well-made shoes can keep children safe from foot problems such as sprains and strains, both in class and on the playground,” says Donald J. Adamov, DPM, a podiatrist and APMA member. “Unless your child complains of discomfort, you may not realize he or she needs new shoes. Parents need to be vigilant to ensure kids are wearing shoes that fit properly and provide the stability and support kids need.”
Conduct the time-honored toe test—using your thumb or forefinger to determine where the child’s big toe is inside the shoe—once a month. Inspect shoes regularly for signs of wear that could compromise their stability. When it’s time to buy children’s shoes, APMA has some guidelines for parents.
“Checking for three different aspects of a shoe’s design makes it easy for parents to distinguish which models are foot-friendly,” Dr. Adamov says.
APMA recommends parents perform a simple, three-step inspection on new shoes before buying:
In addition, keep these tips in mind to help ensure kids are wearing comfortable shoes and practicing good foot health:
If your child’s shoes show uneven wear or wear out on the heels quickly, it could indicate a problem that should be examined by a podiatrist. You can see a list of podiatrist-recommended children’s footwear by visiting www.apma.org/seal and selecting “Find Products by Type” then “Footwear, Children’s.”
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