Parents advised to put their kids’ health ahead of fashion and convenience after new research shows 4 million children are wearing ill-fitting footwear
Most parents will admit that keeping up with the growth of their children when it comes to purchasing clothes and shoes can be tough, however new research has highlighted the health risks that ill-fitting footwear can cause for our youngsters.
The study shows a fifth of children suffer from foot related health problems, with almost a third of parents admitting their kids have worn shoes that are the incorrect size.
Two fifths of parents admit to buying shoes that are too big so their children can grow into them over time, while more worryingly perhaps, one in ten parents say their children have continued to wear shoes that are too small for them. Half admit to only buying new shoes when their children complain their feet are hurting.
A third also give their children hand me down shoes, while a tenth of those surveyed don’t regularly check that their young ones’ shoes fit them.
But when it comes to actually purchasing new footwear, a quarter of parents base their decision on what to buy on the cost, one in ten base it on fashion trends, while only 40% take into account whether the shoes are well fitting and supportive.
Furthermore, a quarter of parents say they don’t get their children properly fitted for shoes on a regular basis and with ill fitting shoes causing anything from bunions and athletes foot to far more serious long term issues like back problems and bone deformation, experts are worried about the harm being done to the health of millions of children.
So what other damage can ill fitting footwear do to children both now and in the future and what are the options for parents who are struggling financially, to make sure they can still ensure the health of their children without breaking their budget?
Bob Hardy Fellow of the Society of Shoe Fitters comments: “Ill fitting shoes are most uncomfortable when you are active so shoes that don’t fit will discourage kids from enjoying physical activities that help to keep a healthy mind and body. Most kids aren’t even aware their shoes are a factor so as a result don’t complain to their mum or dad.”