When a child begins walking the foot will appear flat; there is a natural and normal fat pad in this area of the foot at this age. As walking and growth continues the foot should begin to develop more shape and appear “bonier”, this generally occurs around the age of 2-3 years. If a flat foot appearance persists beyond this age it still may resolve however this is not always the case.
There are two types of pediatric flat foot; flexible and rigid. These are determined via a simple test – if the foot appears flat when the child is standing but an arch forms while sitting/lying then this is flexible flat foot. If there is no arch present sitting/lying or standing this is deemed rigid flat foot.
In majority of cases flat foot is asymptomatic, in which instance there is no need for treatment unless it is affecting daily activity or affecting the lower limb alignment. If symptomatic podiatry intervention is highly recommended.