Time, not special shoes, will likely straighten feet


July 20, 1993|By Modena Wilson, M.D. and Alain Joffe, M.D. | Modena Wilson, M.D. and Alain Joffe, M.D.,Contributing Writers

Q: My baby is just beginning to walk. His feet don't look straight. His doctor said he'd grow out of it; but when I went to the shoe store, the salesman sold us "special" shoes with a wedge in them. Who's right?

A: Most babies' feet point slightly outward when they start to walk. We suspect that's what you are talking about when you say the feet are not straight. If so, your baby's doctor gave you the same advice we would.

Time, not special shoes, will solve the problem.

If a child is wearing special shoes as this natural change takes place, the parent and the shoe salesman may believe the shoes were the cure. In reality, they were an unnecessary expense, especially given the fact that growing feet require new shoes frequently.

There are a few children who need special shoes or braces. If you are still worried, ask your doctor about it again and suggest getting the opinion of a pediatric orthopedist.

Dr. Wilson is director of general pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center; Dr. Joffe is director of adolescent medicine.

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