Aussie Kids Feet

Author: Behind the News   Date Posted:15 January 2019 

Often people try to change the way they look. It might be a new hair-style or trying to grow big muscles at the gym. But there's one part of your body that can also change shape depending on fashion. It's your feet. Experts are worried that kids cramming their toes into the wrong kind of footwear could lead to some big problems for their feet.

NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: Choosing which shoe is right for you should take a bit more time and thought than this. But while we spend hours in shoe shops stressing over which shoes look the best, we spend far less time thinking about which ones are best for our feet.

Anna is a podiatrist, a medical expert for feet. She sees lots of kids with foot problems and says bad shoes are bad news.

REPORTER: So out of my shoes here, which are the good ones and which are the bad ones?

ANNA MORGAN, PODIATRIST: Well we'll start with the bad ones shall we; these shoes while lovely are far too high and way too pointy okay. The thongs offer little support and will cause your toes to claw in them. The shoes I'll be sticking with, the good shoes, are your sneakers and your school shoes.

So let's look at why some of our favourite footwear can be bad for our feet. With warm weather and lots of beaches, you can see why Aussies reach for the thongs. So what's wrong with the thong? They change the way we walk because there's no support at the heel. It means people scrunch up their toes to keep them on, you probably don't even know you're doing it and that constant pressure over a long period of time can be bad. But even though thongs aren't that great, high heels are much worse.

There's no doubt they're made to look glam. But the long-term effects of wearing high heels cangive you more than just a tumble. They force you to change your posture, which puts extra pressure on the wrong parts of your body. They can also tighten and shorten your calf muscles and then there's the damage to the foot.

This is something called 'hammertoe'. It's when toes bend upwards and it can happen if your shoes are too small. So cramming your toes into ridiculous pointy shoes over time can actually change the shape of your foot!

ANNA MORGAN, PODIATRIST: Here we've got an x-ray of a young child. You can see how the bone here is nice and straight. Now with time, that can develop into what's called a bunion. Here you can see that bone is a lot more curved, this can often be made worse by shoe wear.

Just recently, a top fashion magazine caused a stir with this picture of a 10-year old model wearing stiletto heels. Experts say it's particularly dodgy for kids to wear heels, because kids' bodies are still growing.

Another preventable problem is 'athlete's foot'. It sounds pretty good. But having athletes foot won't win you a gold medal, all you're likely to win is some cream from the chemist. It's actually a foot fungus. A lot of people get it because they don't dry their feet properly after swimming or a shower. You're supposed to dry between every toe.

So next time your choosing what shoes to wear, maybe it's time to put your feet first!

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