Flat feet is a condition in which the foot doesn’t have a normal arch. It may affect one foot or both feet. At first, all babies’ feet look flat because an arch hasn’t formed yet. Arches should form by the time your child is 2 or 3 years old.
What causes flat feet?
Most flat feet are caused by loose joint connections and baby fat between the foot bones. These conditions make the arch fall when your child stands up. This is why you sometimes hear flat feet called “fallen arches.” The feet may look like they have arches when your child is sitting or when the big toe is bent backward, but the arch flattens when the child puts weight on the foot.
Should I take my child to the doctor?
If your child complains of foot or ankle pain, take him or her to the doctor. Flat feet in an older child may cause pain in the heel or arch, or may cause pain when the child is walking and running. Your doctor will look at your child’s feet to make sure that the pain isn’t caused by a problem in the hip or the knee. Rarely, flat feet can be caused by foot bones that are joined together. In this case, the bones can’t move, and the foot hurts. Your child may need to have x-rays, but your doctor probably can tell you what the problem is just by looking at your child’s feet.