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The foot is a complex structure of 26 bones and 35 joints, held together and supported by the ligaments. A baby’s foot is padded with fat and is highly flexible.
Most children begin to walk anywhere between 8 and 18 months of age. Most toddlers are flat-footed when they first start walking, or tend to turn their feet inwards, because muscle strength and ligament stiffness needs to catch up to other development. The flat-footedness nearly always improves as the bones develop and as the feet strengthen.
Always see your podiatrist or doctor if you are concerned about your child’s feet or the way they walk (their gait).
A child learning to walk receives important sensory information from the soles of their feet touching the ground. Footwear helps to protect their feet from injury and from the heat and the cold.
When toddlers are learning to walk, they should be in bare feet or a soft soled shoe as much as possible so they can feel what they touch with their feet and develop muscle strength.When toddlers have been walking on their own confidently for a period of time, they can progress to a firmer soled shoe.Have your child’s shoes professionally fitted, which should include measuring each foot for length and width. Children’s feet grow very quickly and their shoe size may need updating every few months. Shoes that are too tight can hamper your child’s walking and cause problems, such as ingrown toenails.
Shoes for your toddler should ideally have:
Expensive shoes are not always better. Children outgrow their shoes very quickly.
The sole of a normally developed foot has an arch, called the medial arch, formed by bones, muscles and ligaments. For the first two years, your child’s feet will look flatter than an adult’s.
Flat feet in infants and young children are normal. Children’s feet are generally flexible and should not be stiff.
As your child masters walking, the ligaments and muscles will strengthen and the fat pads in the arch area won’t be so noticeable. By around six years of age, your child should have normal arches in both feet.
If your child has foot pain, or their feet appear to be making it hard for them to keep up with their peers, see a podiatrist.
Many toddlers walk ‘pigeon-toed’, with either one or both feet turned inwards (in-toeing). In-toeing can come from the foot, lower leg (tibia) or upper leg (femur).
It is important to see your podiatrist or health professional if your child’s feet are stiff or if their in-toeing is:
Very occasionally, toddlers walk with their feet turned outwards (out-toeing).
In most cases, out-toeing resolves by itself as posture and balance matures. See your podiatrist or health professional if your child’s out-toeing is:
See your doctor or podiatrist if you are worried about your child’s feet or gait. Problematic symptoms may include:
News Release by: Better Health Channel (Victoria State Government)
Changes to the national Register of practitioners will make it easier to access public information about health practitioners across Australia as National Boards decide to link to publicly available tribunal and court decisions where serious allegations have been proven.
The online Register of practitioners has accurate, up-to-date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia. As decisions are made about a practitioner’s registration renewal or disciplinary proceedings, the register is updated to inform the public about the current status of individual practitioners and any restrictions placed upon their practice.
In March 2018, the Medical Board of Australia started publishing links to disciplinary decisions by courts and tribunals when there has been an adverse finding about a doctor. This approach will now apply progressively to all registered health practitioners when serious allegations have been proven.
National Boards have decided to introduce links to public tribunal decisions when serious allegations have been proven, in the interests of transparency and on the recommendation of the Independent review of the use of chaperones to protect patients in Australia.
No information about the notifications received by National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) will be published. The change is simply helping to make already publicly available information easier to find.
AHPRA CEO Mr Martin Fletcher said making this information more accessible was fair and in the public interest.
‘Consumers, employers and practitioners will be able to find public information more easily, to inform healthcare choices and employment decisions.
‘The register is an online, easy to use database where the public, employers and practitioners can check the details of over 700,000 health practitioners across 15 health professions,’ he said.
‘Members of the public are encouraged to check the register as part of deciding to see a health practitioner. Checking the register is an additional assurance that their practitioner is complying with their legal obligations and meets the standards set for their profession.
‘This helps protect people through increased transparency and more complete information to make informed decisions about the care they receive,’ Mr Fletcher said.
Links will be added for any new decision or outcome as they are received. By early 2019, links will be added for all relevant decisions dating back to when each National Board joined the National Scheme.
Search the register at www.ahpra.gov.au/registration/registers-of-practitioners.
Today, the Podiatry Board of Australia (the Board) has launched a video1 for patients to help them understand what infection prevention and control measures to expect when visiting their podiatrist or podiatric surgeon.
It also encourages patients to ask their podiatrist questions about infection prevention and control and helps them know what to do if they have a concern about their podiatrist’s infection control practices.
The Board’s Chair, Ms Catherine Loughry, hopes that this video empowers patients of podiatry services.
‘This video reminds patients that good infection prevention and control is something they should expect and something they can look out for. Effective infection prevention and control is central to minimising the risk and spread of infection. It’s everyone’s responsibility and helps keep everyone safe.’
The video is being launched as part of the Board’s awareness activities for International Infection Prevention Week (15 – 21 October 2017).
The video shows the key aspects of infection prevention and control practices that a podiatrist follows during a routine podiatry service; including practising hand hygiene, wearing protective clothing, the use of sterile instruments, as well as how they should handle sharps like scalpels.
Infection control: Tips for patients when receiving care from a podiatrist from AHPRA on Vimeo.
Transcript – Infection control: Tips for patients when receiving care from a podiatrist (108 KB,DOCX)
We also have an infection control checklist that patients can use
The Board has also developed a quick checklist for patients.
Patients can keep in mind these easy to remember tips:
If you have concerns, you can make a complaint to AHPRA and the Podiatry Board of Australia on 1300 419 495.
More information about the complaints process is on the Complaints or concerns page of the AHPRA website.
Remember – it’s a podiatrist’s responsibility
When visiting a registered podiatrist, you can be safe in the knowledge that they have met national standards, such as continuing to learn and develop their skills.
The Board expects all podiatrists to practise in a way that maintains and enhances public health and safety, ensuring the risk of the spread of infection is prevented or minimised.
Podiatrists are expected to practise as per the Board’s Guidelines for infection prevention and control to ensure that they meet their infection prevention and control obligations.
News release by Podiatry Board of Australia