Feet first: Your back-to-school foot health guide

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The start of a new school year is a flurry of activity as learning and sports get underway. There are many demands on young learners mentally and physically, but parents and caregivers can help the little ones put their best foot forward by considering foot health.

“School years are a crucial time for a child’s development and, as they grow, maintaining foot health becomes even more important,” explained Lynsey Hammond, MD of Kroko, manufacturers of quality footcare products. “Many don’t realise that foot health is connected with posture and alignment, and taking care of the feet will protect the spine and neck in later years.”

She says time spent travelling to and from school, as well as time at school itself, puts a lot of pressure on young feet: “In South Africa, many young children have to travel far distances to get to and from school – either barefoot or in ill-fitting shoes – as well as playing on the hard ground for sports or on the playground. They are also required to sit at school desks which means proper foot health for correct posture. We’ve put together useful foot care tips for caregivers to help their children start the year right.”

1.      Choose the correct-sized shoes and socks

Many schools require children to wear socks and school shoes throughout the day, and if the shoes are the incorrect size, it can be detrimental to feet. When a child wears the wrong-sized shoes, they can suffer from blisters, pressure sores, ingrown toenails, and deformities like hammer toes – not to mention future posture problems. Sock size, too, can impact their overall discomfort. Children’s feet are constantly growing, so it’s important to measure the feet fairly regularly. If a child is suffering from feet challenges, there is Kroko SkinFilm for minor cuts and scratches, and HeelFix for dry and damaged heels.

2.      Keep the feet dry

In South Africa’s hot summer, and with feet trapped in socks and school shoes, there is a risk of sweating. Make sure children’s feet are kept clean and dry by changing socks where needed and airing out shoes, and they should dry between toes after washing. If left wet, there is a risk of fungal infections, athlete’s foot, or corns. They can also suffer from smelly feet, which can cause self-esteem issues. Kroko Foot Powder or Kroko Shoe & Foot Odour spray is a great option if a child suffers from excessively sweaty feet as it keeps feet hygienic and fresh.

3.      Let those feet breathe

Encouraging active children to rest is not always easy, but if they’ve had a busy day at school on the playground and sports field, then it’s important to let the feet rest and heal. Pushing it too far can result in pain and discomfort. However, by resting those feet, children will be ready for another day of adventures, and a life of healthy living! It’s also important for children to go barefoot for some of the time. There are thousands of nerve endings in each foot and walking barefoot on wet grass or soft sand helps to develop new neurological connections. Just ensure they’re walking on surfaces that are safe for bare feet and not too hot.

KROKO’s pharmaceutically formulated foot care products are designed for foot hygiene, the treatment of corns and calluses, and cracked heels. The product range also includes remedies for warts, cracked skin, minor cuts and scratches.

For more information, visit www.kroko.co.za or email info@kroko.co.za. Keep updated on all Kroko news by following Krokofootcare on Facebook or kroko_footcare on Instagram. Kroko – with you every step of the way.