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Children's Feet

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The Bees Knees Kids
Specialising in babywear, kidswear and accessories.

Children's Feet

At six months of age the foot is still mostly cartilage. In fact the last bone doesn't begin to form until children are about 3 years old. By 18 years, most of the bones are fully formed. Children's feet are soft and pliable making them prone to damage from abnormal pressure, such as shoes which are too small.Walking. Children usually begin to walk any time between 10 and 24 months of age. Each child is unique and will move through the developmental stages at their own pace. Each child follows a developmental sequence from lying to sitting, crawling, standing, cruising, walking to running, jumping and hopping.

When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary whilst indoors. Allowing babies to go barefoot or to wear socks or leather soft soled shoes helps the foot to grow normally and promotes the grasping action of the toes. Sometimes children walk with their feet pointed inwards (in-toeing) or outward (out-toeing), other children walk on their toes (toe-walking). In most cases, these variations in walking are normal. Most children will have grown out of these walking styles by the age of two. However, if these patterns persist, or you have concerns, you should take your child to a podiatrist.

An estimated 10-20% of children have flat feet. Flat feet in children are not necessarily a problem. However, if they are causing pain, affecting mobility or interfering with activities then they should be investigated. Should the child also be experiencing what is described as "growing pains", a podiatry assessment may be warranted.

Growing Feet

A child's feet will double in size by the age of one and they are approximately half their adult length by 18 months of age. Between the ages of 5 and 12 growth is approximately 9 mm per year, with adult foot size approximated by twelve to fourteen years of age. Frequent changes in the size of shoes and socks are necessary to make room for rapidly growing feet during childhood. Do a size check at least 1-3 months up to the age of three, every 4 months up to five years and every 6 months from five years.



SKEANIE designs classic leather footwear for little feet from newborn to five years. The SKEANIE Infant Range shoes feature a soft leather suede sole, perfect for pre-walkers and early walkers. The SKEANIE Junior Range feature an innovative light-weight flexible rubber sole, designed to protect and provide the flexibility little feet require when walking.

Professional Advice
A check-up with a podiatrist is recommended if:
* You notice uneven shoe wear
* You notice any skin rashes, hard skin lumps or bumps on your child's feet
* Your child complains of recurrent pain in the feet and/or legs
* Your child is constantly tripping or falling
* Or you have any other concerns about your child’s feet.

About Podiatrists

Podiatrists are highly skilled health professionals trained to deal with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of medical and surgical conditions of the feet and lower limbs. Podiatrists are tertiary qualified and trained. They need to be registered with the Podiatrists' Registration Board and are continually upgrading their skills and knowledge through further education and training.
Australian Podiatry Association (NSW)

Phone: 02 96983751
Fax: 02 96987116
Post: 20/450 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
This information is not to be used as a substitute for advice from a podiatrist of medical professional. The above information is derived from The Australian Podiatry Association (NSW)'s "Children's Feet. What you need to know..."

Protect children's feet for life, say podiatrists. Children's feet are fragile and can be damaged easily, according to the Australian Podiatry Association (NSW).

For Foot Health Week (14th-20th October) the Association is focusing on children's feet, outlining the first steps to foot health.

"Children's feet are not just miniature versions of adult feet; they are still forming," says Brenden Brown, Vice President of the Association . "At birth, feet are mostly cartilage and in childhood and adolescence the bones in the feet, 52 in all, will form. During this time they are extremely fragile and any undue pressure can cause deformities. At the same time, they will grow rapidly, requiring regular shoe size checks."

The campaign aims to educate children and parents about the best ways to care for feet. The Association is promoting foot care, correct shoe fitting and professional follow up on foot problems.

"Walking is one of the first concerns for parents. It is important to remember that all children achieve this milestone in their own time: children usually walk between ten and 24 months of age," says Mr Brown. "Some children walk with toes pointed in or out while others walk on their toes. While this variation is generally normal, investigation is required if there seems to be a problem or if these walking styles persist beyond the age of two."

As children grow it is common for them to experience pain in the feet or legs.
"While pain in the legs or feet is common it is not considered normal. Foot pain in
children should be investigated especially if it is associated with falling or tripping,
reluctance to participate in activities and difficulty finding shoes that fit comfortably."

Children often suffer from foot problems such as warts, in-grown toenails, rashes and tinea.

"We recommend that all foot problems be investigated professionally as treating the
symptoms with an over-the-counter medication or preparation will not successfully
resolve any underlying problem that exists."

The correct professional advice is important. "Podiatrists don't just prescribe orthotics, they are tertiary educated foot health professionals who are trained to diagnose and treat problems associated with the feet and lower limbs including injury, infection and disease, as well as structural or functional problems which includes difficulties with walking and foot pain," Mr Brown said.

More About Skeanie

SKEANIE Soft Soled Shoes and Boots was launched by Natasha Barber in June 2007 by mother of two from Goulburn in Southern NSW.

Natasha commenced her soft soled shoe research shortly after her Cheeky Monkey, Hamish was born. Finding high quality soft leather shoes in Australia was a challenge. After 2 years of research and design and the birth of her Little Princess, Bella, SKEANIE Soft Soled Baby Shoes and Boots was launched.

Natasha has grown the range to include a variety of colours and design and four sizes from birth to 5 years. The SKEANIE range is constantly growing and evolving. Currently SKEANIE products are stocked in over 100 stores throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA and Denmark.

SKEANIE Soft Soled Shoes and Boots are hand-made from high quality, super soft genuine leather to allow little feet to breathe and grow naturally. At birth, feet are mostly cartilage. It is during childhood that the bones in the feet form; during this time the feet are fragile and any undue pressure is not advised. Podiatrists and Pediatricians recommend soft soled shoes for babies and toddlers.

SKEANIE Soft Soled Baby Shoes and Boots are FAIR TRADE MADE by a family owned business and are able to offer exclusive and tailor-made designs for retailers. SKEANIE is 100% Australian Owned and Designed.

Shoe Shopping For Your Child's Developing Feet

Traveling with Babies and Toddlers
By Bernice Greenacre BEd (Early Childhood Studies)

Traveling with babies and toddlers is not easy but I have found that if you plan ahead everything tends to run just a little more smoothly! Last year I travelled from Perth to Hong Kong with a 2 soon to be 3 year old and a 6 month old by myself and boy was that a challenge. It can be done as some people have to do it solo. It so better being prepared! I look back at the trip now and can actually laugh about it having a 6 month old breastfeeding and a 2 year old throwing a tantrum on the floor when the seat belt light had turned on and the air hostess urging me to get my child restrained back in their seat! Oh my what a trip but I did survive!

For Toddlers:
1. Before the trip talk about it read lots of books leading up to the trip that relates to the mode of transport that you will take.
2. Talk about activities that you can do when you travel in the car, train or plane.
3. Pack a back pack together for the trip.

4. Great things to take on a trip are:
....a .sticker books
....b. cuddly books, rhyme books , hand puppets
....c. a megasketcher
....d. a notebook, crayons, colouring in book
....e. playdough
....f. origami for older children
....g. threading activities
....h. something new
....i. something familiar and comforting
5. When going on your trip be on the look out for queues that cater for families traveling with children.
6. Allow ample time for the trip to the airport so that you are not rushed or stressed better to be a bit earlier and calm than stressed out because you are running late traveling can be stressful enough!
7. Have a checklist prepared.
8. Check you have all your travel documents – passport, ticket, credit card, foreign currency.
9. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
10. Arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight is due to depart.

Essentials to pack for Babies and Toddlers:
1. Nappy Bag with many easy accessible compartments.
2. Nappies and bags for the dirty ones have enough nappies that you would use in the duration of time as well as a couple extra just in case.
3. Blanket as it does tend to get cool in the aeroplane.
4. Comfortable and easy to change clothes for the trip.
5. Formulas, juice, water and food plus bottles sippy cups and dummies etc.
6. A breast pump if you are feeding and breastfeeding storage bags can also be handy.
7. Usually I tend to pack more than I would actually need just to be safe rather have too much than run out of something that may save your trip from a disaster!
8. A Baby Carrier. I cannot live without my Ergo Baby Carrier and after 4 years I still get good use out of it everyday! I don't think I could have survived my trip without this!
9. A travel cot or portable baby bassinet can be handy but in many places these can be booked and reserved or even hired.
10. A lightweight stroller and rain cover usually you may use your pushchair all the way up until you board your plane and it will be made available for you as soon as you get off the plane.
10. Extra wipes and tissues are a must! As well as an extra change of clothes for Mum or Dad in case of any mishaps occurring!
11. Travel Potty or a child's toilet seat adapter
12. Anything disposable for traveling is always great as it is easy to dispose of and you tend to travel lighter so disposable nappies, bibs, change mats etc.
13. Don't forget to pack in Sun screen and a hat swim wear and swim nappies if you are going to somewhere that is warm!
14. Car Sunshades if you will be using a hire car can be handy!
15. Car Seats: many car seats can be checked in at no extra cost.
16. Take a waterproof bed protector usually you can get disposable ones this is a must especially for children in set routines
17. A Traveling Medical Kit with the necessities for babies and kids such as plasters, paracetamol, teething gel, nappy rash cream, antiseptic cream etc.
What Makes A Good Toy?

By Bernice Greenacre BEd (Early Childhood Studies)

When it comes to toys you really don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for these! It is also a very good idea to look at the makeup of a good toy before being lured into the very clever marketing of many companies out there wanting you to part with your money!

Great points to remember when buying a toy:

Is it safe?
* Small parts are not a good idea especially with young babies and toddlers.
* It should not be too noisy as this over a long period of time can damage hearing   especially battery operated toys.
* It should be easily sanitized and cleaned.
* Toys that encourage violence should be avoided. For example, toy guns.
* Battery operated toys should close securely as batteries can be dangerous.

* Toys should be kid durable and well made.
* Look for toys that have bright colours, shapes, sounds and textures.

Age Appropriate
Toys should be suited to the developmental level of your child or baby.

Promotes Learning
Toys should be engaging, pose a problem or problems to solve. This could include promoting literacy, grouping or categorizing, encourage sharing or role playing.

A good toy is versatile and can be used in many ways. For example, we have a wooden wagon which has been used to collect teddies and take them for a ride, play postman and deliver letters, cart little sister around and so much more! 

Rotating Toy Use
Quite often my children forget about their toys or get bored of them so will head to the pot drawer and get the chopsticks out and play their drums! Something that also works is rotating your child’s toys. Selecting some to put away for a while and taking it out and putting the ones that they have lost interest in away and then take them out in a few weeks. In this way they get to actually enjoy their toys and use them. Sometimes we can over stimulate them by just having far too much out at one time this proves to be frustrating for them as they are over stimulated as well as for us as there are too many toys lying about.

A winner in my books although it can be messy is definitely playdough this is so open ended. It is very cheap and easy to make. So it can be fun for parents to join in too!

Toy Libraries
These are a great resource available in many communities around Australia and many parts of the world where parents are able to borrow many great educational toys. This encourages parents to play with their children and be actively involved in their playing learning and development of their children. Rotating them every few weeks helps to keep it quite fresh and exciting. This also allows parents to save quite a lot of money as good quality toys are not cheap and are usually very short lived. Children can outgrow then quite quickly. There are toys suited for every age and stage of a child’s development.

Kid Spot - Toy Libraries (Sourced from

Bottle-feeding and formula By Raising Children Network

Infant formula is the only safe alternative to breastmilk for the first 12 months of your baby’s life.

Facts about formula

What is formula?
Infant formula is not the same as cow’s milk. All infant formula has added 
vitamins and enzymes and different fats that babies need, which they can’t get from straight cow’s milk. This is why experts say you shouldn’t give cow’s milk to your baby as the main milk drink until your baby is over 12 months old.

Which formula is best?
Every formula you can buy in Australia meets strict Australian Standards. 

There is a range of cow’s milk formulas on the supermarket shelves. Most of them are of similar quality and nutritional value.

Some expensive formulas have special additional ingredients. You can pay more for this kind of formula. On the whole, though, there is no significant evidence that these formulas are better. There is some evidence that formula with added LCPs, naturally found in breastmilk, assists in brain development. 

A brand might be more expensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s better for your baby. A hospital’s use of a particular brand of formula does not mean that brand is the ‘best’.

Preparing formula
Infant formulas are most commonly available in powder form. The formula is prepared by adding the powder to cooled boiled water. Until your baby is 12 months old, it’s very important to
sterilise bottles and teats. This will stop the formula from being contaminated by any bacteria that might make your baby sick.

Soy formula

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)  recommends regular formula over soy milk formula for most infants.

This is because consuming high levels of soy can have potential risks for young children. In particular, the NHMRC notes that phytoestrogen compounds in soy formula might affect the growing neuro-endocrine systems and immune system. But there is no compelling research to either prove or disprove that these compounds harm infants.

If you don’t want to use regular formula, soy formula will provide your child with all necessary nutrients. For example, you might be vegan and want a vegan diet for your child. Your baby can’t get necessary nutrients from soy milk for adults.

Some infants are allergic to both cow’s milk and formula. If you think your baby has an allergy, talk to your doctor before switching to a different formula.

Formula with LCPs, betacarotene and probiotics

Some formula has the following elements added to make it closer in composition to breastmilk:

  • LCPs: these are important for brain and nerve development. There is no clear evidence that babies can (or cannot) absorb ingredients such as LCPs when they are added to formula. Research has shown, however, that formula with added LCPs might be helpful for premature babies’ development.
  • Betacarotene: this is a source of vitamin A and anti-oxidants. Most formulas already have added vitamin A and anti-oxidants. There is no real evidence that beta-carotene formulas are better for your baby.
  • Probiotics: these can help formula-fed babies grow healthy bacteria in their bowels. The bacteria might help your baby have softer poo and less nappy rash. It might also help reduce the chance of gastroenteritis.
You should note that having the same ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean formula will work in your baby’s body the same way breastmilk does. Formulas with LCPs, beta-carotene or probiotics added might be more expensive than other formulas.

Changing formula

Once you’ve settled on a formula for your baby, it’s better not to change formulas too often. This might upset your baby’s feeding routine.

Follow-on formula
Some parents change to a ‘follow-on formula’ when their baby reaches six months:

  • Follow-on formula should not be given to babies under six months.
  • Babies older than six months need follow-on formula only if they are not getting an adequate variety of solid foods in their diets.
  • If babies have been started on a diet of healthy solids, they’ll be getting all the nutrients they need from those and their original formula.
If you do decide to change formula, read the directions carefully as different formulas have different-sized scoops and are made up in different ways.
Sourced from the Raising Children Network's comprehensive and quality-assured Australian parenting website
Homemade baby food By Raising Children Network

Homemade baby food

By Raising Children Network

Ingredients for good baby food

A range of foods that make suitable solids for babies
  • Start simple: along with iron-fortified cereal, baby’s first solids can be single foods such as mashed banana or avocado, or cooked and pureed apple, pear, pumpkin or potato.

  • Once baby is enjoying a good range of fruits and vegetables, introduce some fresh beef, lamb, pork or chicken (not pickled, salted or smoked). Combine meat with vegetables or even fruits such as apple or pear.

  • Gradually become more adventurous with different foods and textures. When teeth start coming in, try flaky loose fish, mashed legumes and couscous. Include fruits such as berries, citrus and stone fruit that has been deseeded and mashed.


Preparing and cooking baby foods

Preparing, cooking and processing solids
  • Step 1: to make baby food, first peel the skin off fruits and vegetables, trim the fat off meats, and remove any skin from chicken.

  • Step 2: steam, microwave or boil the foods until cooked, and set aside some of the cooking liquids.

  • Step 3: puree in a food processor or with a hand blender. Add some cooking liquid if you need to smooth out the mixture. For babies over eight months, chop meat finely. Mash other foods with a fork. If using fish, remove any bones.


Storing and serving baby food

Store baby food in ice trays or plastic containers
  • Pureed baby food can be frozen in clean ice cube trays. Spoon the puree into the trays and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 days maximum.

  • Solids can also be stored in plastic containers or glass jars. They’ll keep for up to two days in the fridge or one month in the freezer. Label containers with contents and use-by date.

  • To serve, pop out food cubes into a glass or ceramic bowl. Warm the solids in the microwave or on the stove. Stir well to get rid of hot spots. Test temperature with a clean spoon on your lip before serving to baby. Discard any leftovers – don’t refreeze.

Sourced from the Raising Children Network's comprehensive and quality-assured Australian parenting website
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