Fun facts about your kids' feet!
Our feet are designed to support our entire body. We do so much with them every day, but what do you know about your feet?
Our body is made up of 206 bones. 26 bones are in each foot. That is a quarter of our bones in our body, just in our feet alone. Each foot has 33 joints and over 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Our foot bones keep developing until we become teenagers. This is just one of the reasons why children look like they have flat feet and are still very flexible at a young age.
Did you know that not all our toes have got the same number of bones? Even though we call our “Big Toe” big, it only has two bones, whilst our other toes each have three bones. Some children can be born with more than five toes on each foot, this is called polydactylism.
Why are our feet so ticklish? This is because our feet have close to 8,000 nerves, with lots of nerve endings near the skins surface. These nerve endings are why our feet are often a good indicator of overall health.
- Feet are getting bigger
The average foot is two sizes bigger than it was 40 years ago. All because people’s bodies in general, are bigger than they used to be. So as people’s bodies get bigger, so do their feet. If they didn’t then they would not be able to support the extra body weight otherwise.
Did you know that our toenails grow more slowly that our fingernails? Toenails only grow around 1 mm per month, but fingernails grow three times as fast. The reason why toenails are thicker than fingernails is the cells have time to accumulate and thicken in a way that our fingernails can’t.
- Why do our feet sweat?
Each foot has over 250,000 sweat glands! You will be surprised that those sweat glands can actually produce a cup of moisture every day.
Did you know that children’s feet sweat more than twice as much as adult feet? With all that moisture this is why their shoes tend to break down faster than adults.
The more moisture our feet have, the more it weakens the shape of the shoe. If your child only wears the same pair of shoes every day, then it is worth giving them a fresh pair of socks during the day, which should help extend the life of the shoes.
- Why do feet smell so much?
Bacteria love to make their home on warm, sweaty feet. The bacteria multiply into big colonies and live on the foot’s dead skin and oils. This then produces acids which, as you can imagine, don’t smell very nice.
So, to help prevent our feet from smelling too much, make sure you wash your feet every day, including between your toes and make sure they are totally dry. Also, you should always wear clean socks.
- Quality Footwear
If our children wear incorrectly fitted shoes, it is more likely they will experience foot problems, pain, and even deformities as an adult. Poorly fitted shoes, or ones that are not made well, may also cause issues with walking, posture, back pain and much more.
The best shoes should be durable, flexible, and breathe well. For example, shoes that have natural materials like leather, and canvas. They will soften and stretch over time. Some synthetic materials can imitate these qualities, but it is advised to avoid wearing plastic shoes for everyday use, as they don’t breathe and have no flexibility.
- Foot Growth
Did you know that our children’s feet grow the quickest in the first 3 years of their life? If you ask parents, they will say that their children’s feet grow like weeds and that they need new shoes every other day. That is a slight exaggeration, but children’s feet do grow incredibly fast, especially during the first few years.
Children’s feet can grow up to nine sizes in their first 3 years alone. Once your child reaches the age of 4 growth tends to slow down, and their feet might change once or twice every 8-12 months. However, it's important to watch out for the growth spurts!
It is very important to get your children’s feet measured and sized regularly. We recommend every 3 months but it's most important when you come to buy a new pair of shoes. If your children’s shoes are too small then it can cause deformities in the feet that could affect their foot health for the rest of their lives.