A recent news article introduced a 102-year-old as one of the last remaining Chinese women to have had her feet bound. At just 2 years old, Han Qiaoni’s feet were soaked in warm water, her toenails were clipped, her feet were massaged, every toe was broken except for the big one, her arch was broken, and all of the broken toes were wrapped tightly against the soles of her feet. Before 1912 when the practice was banned in China, women thought feet measuring between 2.75 and 3 inches were a sign of beauty.
Is foot binding still a concern?
You may not even realize that it is happening to child’s foot. A sudden growth spurt and what do you know your child’s toe is almost through the shoe.
To prevent “binding” your child’s feet, it is important to regularly check their shoes to make sure they aren’t too tight. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends getting your child new shoes and socks every couple of months. Other tips include:
Taking your child along when shopping for their shoes and make sure their feet are measured.
- Have them walk around in the shoes and ask how they feel on their feet.
- Shop in the late afternoon or evening: Feet swell throughout the day making it the perfect time to try on shoes.
- Bring along the right socks or tights for the proper shoe or sneaker.
- Make sure they try on both shoes, feet are almost never the same size.
- Don’t buy shoes that need to be broken in. They might cause problems down the road.
Once your child is wearing the new shoes on a regular basis, you still want to check for sore spots. If they frequently take off one or both shoes, it may be a sign that there is a problem. Also, keep an eye on the bottoms of shoes. If heels are wearing out they might need a new shoe before they grow out of them.
Your child’s feet are an important part of their health. If your child complains of foot pain or if you notice uneven wear on your child’s shoes, it is important to get medical care for them early on. At Hollowbrook Foot Specialists, we know how important it is to keep your children active and healthy. Schedule an appointment at our Wappinger Falls office with Dr. Schlam and let us help your child put their best foot forward.