The former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham, is in the news once again for a foot related faux pas. In the past she’s refused to give up her stilettos even though she’s had terrible pain from bunions. Now she’s now allowing her 5 year old daughter Harper to wear them. She was quoted in a UK paper saying, “She’s (her daughter) been in... platforms for a few years right now. She can wear heels like most grown-ups cannot." At another interview she said, “she’s been able to run in a pair of high heels for a long time. So proud. So proud.”
One can’t help but wonder if Victoria is simply keeping her fingers crossed that she isn’t priming her daughter for bunions or that beauty trumps all including the pain of bunions.
Although most people assume that the bunions themselves are inherited, it’s the foot type that’s the real culprit in bunion formation. People with flat feet or low arches are most at risk.
Children are born with flat feet with arches forming around age 4-5. Since Harper is age five it would be obvious if she still had flat feet. If so they will be with her for life and her risk of bunions great. Wearing high heels accelerates the progression of bunions. Harper could end up with even worse bunions than her mother if her high heeling wearing continues unabated in her younger years and into adulthood.
So what can you do if you have bunions and you’re afraid that your young daughter could develop them?
- Check her feet to see if she’s developing an arch.
- If she hasn’t developed an arch by age 4-5, she could have developmental flatfoot and should be seen by a podiatrist.
- Downsize your heels so that you’re sending the right message.
If your child has not formed an arch by age 4-5, our office can evaluate her and determine if she would benefit from Little Steps, a pre-fab children’s orthotic. Correcting her arch now can prevent a lifetime of pain from bunions, plantar fasciitis, and even back pain.
Bring your child in today for a free foot evaluation. Call us at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.
Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.