Children’s Flat Feet


Babies are born with a layer of fat that starts to decrease rapidly as they develop. However, the layer of fat on the feet combined with other factors can make it appear that the feet are not shaped normally, but this is largely because the child still has a long period of foot and leg development to undergo.

The leg muscles are unable to support the arches at this time, so the feet will take on a flatter appearance. Bones also remain very flexible until the age of two or three, at which point an arch should start to develop as the child’s tendons and muscles get larger and stronger.

Most of the time, as a child’s development accelerates, and the bones become more solid, the feet will in begin to have more normal looking arches. Be aware, however, that there are a variety of conditions that can cause problems with arch development including a short Achilles tendon, a congenital abnormality, or a problem known as flexible flat feet.

Flexible flat feet remain flat upon weight bearing, and are usually painless but may lead to other issues if untreated, including hammertoes, bunions, and joint problems.

Having a foot care specialist monitor your child’s foot development to look for any potential problems is always a good practice. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.