Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Today's Back-To-School Shoes Can Lead to Tomorrow's Foot Problems

Today's Back-To-School Shoes Can Lead to Tomorrow's Foot ProblemsROSEMONT, Ill., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Kids are more concerned with fashion these days than comfort. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, it is important this school year that parents buy their children properly fitting and supportive shoes, which offer both protection and comfort. While trendy new styles of shoes often include less support and higher heels and soles, parents must first look for durable construction and good fit.
Foot comfort is essential to maintaining stability, mobility and safety. More than 43 million people in the United States have foot problems. Often these problems begin with ill-fitting shoes in childhood. Improperly fitting shoes can cause bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and other disabling foot problems.

"If shoes do not fit your child properly or are not comfortable, do not buy them," stated Stuart L. Weinstein, MD, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon, and first vice president, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. "Shoes should conform to the shape of the feet with plenty of room for the toes to move, and fit well in the heel. Your child's foot should never be forced to conform to the shape of a shoe."

Dr. Weinstein also stated that, "shoes seldom correct a child's foot deformity or changes in foot growth pattern, so if you notice a problem, it is important to have an orthopaedic surgeon examine your child's feet immediately."

Internet users can find additional safety tips and injury prevention information on footwear and more, in the Prevent Injuries America!® Program section of the Academy's web site, http://www.aaos.org or http://www.orthoinfo.org or call the Academy's Public Service line at 800-824- BONES.

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