October 29th, 2018 by Camrin Parnell
Has your baby just started walking? Are you debating whether it’s time to buy shoes?
Dr. Ehud Lebel, Head of our Pediatric Orthopedics Unit provides some insights.
Children, on average start walking between the age of a year and two years. According to Dr. Lebel, a child’s “first shoe” should really be walking around barefoot. Dr. Level explains, “Putting anything on their feet interferes with the child learning about their surroundings and literally feeling things out…Feeling is very important for a child’s development and as such there is no reason to in any way hinder the baby’s ability to feel the floor, grass, stones, the ground or sand. In some ways putting shoes on a child is like raising your child with gloves. We don’t want to do that. Although at this point there is not a lot of research on this matter, if a child is not cold, if there are no thorns, glass or other dangerous objects on the floor, if the pavement is not too hot and we are not worried that the child will hurt themselves, then there is no need for the child to wear shoes.
In addition, we do not recommend that you use different accessories to help children when they first start walking. There is no benefit using these various instruments (swings and walkers) because walking is conditional on a certain maturation of the brain and the connection between the network of muscles the coordination and balance…Your child can stand up from a very young age…Let the kid walk with help until he is ready to do it on his own.”
Please read this article (in Hebrew) for additional details.