From the Doctor's Desk

Wondering how to fit shoes for your children or grandchildren? Dr. Lee Hlad explains in this article published by Nationwide Children's Hospital. 

First Shoes: Choosing the Right Pair for Your Child
Author: Lee Hlad, DPM

Published February 8, 2018 in: Child Development, Parenting, Toddlers & Preschoolers

Parenting is full of wonderful moments, but it can also include a fair share of frustrations. One of those frustrations can be finding the right shoes for your toddler. However, you can follow some simple rules to make your child’s journey to walking a better experience. Toddlers should be encouraged to walk in shoes to help them with stability and it is essential that their first pair of shoes are purchased at a store where they can be fitted for the correct size. If you are unable to have someone in the store help you – as a quick guide – the end of the shoe should be the width of your child’s thumb (not your thumb) away from their longest toe. Keep in mind, their longest toe may be the second toe and not their “big” one. Only about 20 percent of toddlers fit into shoes with regular width – most require a wide shoe that is greater than a “D.” Many parents opt for longer shoes to accommodate the size of the foot, however these are more likely to cause your toddler to be clumsy when walking. Have your child walk for you and watch their heels. If they pop out, they are too big. Keep in mind that your toddler grows very quickly and you may need to change shoes every three or four months. If your child’s heels show signs of blisters, the shoes are likely too small. It is easy to get sidetracked by trendy shoes, but parent should stick to basic functionality and design. Sometimes you will have to let the toddler pick out a favorite style just to get them to wear their shoes, but studies show that sneakers are three times more likely to cause falls on tile floors and five times more likely to cause falls on rugged floors than just general shoes. Socks are an important part of sizing and should be worn every day. Your child’s feet can sweat a lot, so be mindful of the material the shoes contain. If you notice that your child’s feet are wet or have mild odor, try swapping the shoes for something with a different material. Nobody ever said that shoe sizing and learning to walk is easy for parents or children! If you have difficulty, rely on the fitting professionals in the stores and for more challenging cases, you may need to consult a medical professional. First Shoes: Choosing the Right Pair for Your Child

Preventing Falls

Gifts that keep giving by preventing falls

It's that time again - time to give gifts that show how much you care. But what do you give someone who says they have everything they need? Another pair of gloves? Flowers? More candy? How about giving the older adult you love something that's really useful? How about a gift that will help them avoid a fall?

  • Non-skid slippers: Not only are they practical for fall prevention, they also keep feet warm during cold winter nights. Safer than socks, non-skid slippers can help keep an older adult safe and warm.
  • Winter boots with rubber soles: Investing in a waterproof pair of winter boots with sturdy, non-slip rubber bottoms, can literally be life-saving this winter.
  • A sturdy step stool: Look for large platform steps, slip resistant feet and be sure it has a hand rail for help with balance.
  • A cordless telephone: Having a cordless phone means an older adult can keep it nearby and will not have to rush to answer a call.
  • Welcome mats or trays to absorb moisture from wet boots: A wet floor is a slippery floor. A tray inside an older adult's door can contain the mess and prevent a possible fall.
  • A promise to shovel snow: Shoveling snow can take a major toll on the body, so giving a loved one the gift of not having to think about it this holiday season is money well-spent.

This year, give a gift that an older adult can not only use, but that will also reduce their risk of a potentially life-changing fall.