How can I tell if my child's shoes fit properly?
It's a very common part of childhood - trips to the shoe shop to be measured and choose new shoes.
But it seems not enough parents are making regular visits with more than half of children potentially walking around in shoes which are too small for them.
In research involving more than 2,000 youngsters and their parents it was revealed that 65% of them were wearing the incorrect shoe size with 18% wearing a shoe that was two sizes or more too small.
Improperly fitting shoes in children can cause a number of conditions from blisters, pressure sores and ingrowing toenails to deformities, knee and posture problems.
Holding a shoe against a child's foot, pressing a thumb on the toe of the shoe to see how much room there may be and asking the children 'how do they feel' are all mistakes parents are said to make when it comes to assessing their children's shoes.
Instead, parents are advised to keep the following in mind:
Go by the longer foot: The right and left foot are rarely the same length. A difference of up to half an inch is normal which can be almost one shoe size.
Don’t rely on the shoe size: Manufacturers label shoes with standard sizess but each brand can vary. Be sure to try on every shoe carefully even if you think you have selected the correct size.
Give them room: Most parents are aware little feet need room, but can often underestimate the actual room needed. At least ½ inch of additional room is optimal, and is the only way children can roll their foot properly when walking.
Do a regular check: Tim Lilling, from blitzresults.com which was responsible for conducting the research, said that its results suggested parents ideally have their children's feet checked and measured around every two months.
He added: "Because the sense of touch isn’t fully developed in children yet, they have a tendency to squeeze their feet into shoes that are much too small, they don’t even notice it."