Development of children’s feet
Normal growth for children
At birth not all bone structures in the foot are fully developed. For the most part they consist of cartilage. The (baby) feet usually have a flat form, this is because under the entire foot there is still a thick layer of fat. This layer of fat will disappear after the first few years of the child’s life and then the arch of the foot will become visible. The legs of your baby are bowlegged which makes it easier for the baby to make its first unsteady movements.
Between the second and sixth year children develop so-called ‘knock-knees’. This usually results in inward facing knees and flat feet.
The knock-knee position of the legs will gradually become better. Around this age, flat-foot develop a normal foot arch. Until this age most flat-foot are seen as ‘normal’.
Growing pains refers to pain in both of the legs which happens sometimes at the end of the day, but usually at night. This can be quite bothersome. Around 30% of children in the Netherlands occasionally has growing pains, girls more than boys. Children between the ages of 4 to 10 mostly have issues with growing pains. Where growing pains derive from is unsure and if it has something to do with growing is not clear either. There are different kinds of symptoms when it comes to growing pains. If you child experiences growing pains, he or she will not suffer from it during the day. At night he/she will wake up crying and indicate pain in both the legs, usually around the knees or in the shins. Your child could also complain of pain deep within the muscles of both calves or thighbones. The pain can be constant or come in waves. Growing pains usually appear more often after a busy day when your child has walked a lot. It is important to know that growing pains could disappear for days or weeks and your child will not have any complaints during that time. Growing pains usually occur during ‘growth spurts’ and is indeed linked to the process of growing. The first growth spurt could already occur at the age of three. Growing pains are completely harmless and will disappear after your child has stopped growing.