GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR CHILDREN
At Panda we care about your child's feet and, now that you have made it through those crucial first two years, we would like to tell you a little more of what you can expect in the years ahead.... Your baby has come a long way with his little feet. Even after two years, his journey is far from over... as a matter of fact, it has just begun! Up to now, baby's feet have undergone a remarkable transformation. The muscles and ligaments in his feet have developed and strengthened; the arch has begun to take shape. Fragile and flexible cartilage has started to harden. Now, at last baby's growth has slowed and both mobility and balance are almost under control. We can easily fool ourselves into thinking that well-fitted shoes are no longer as important. The care you give to growing feet at this stage of development is just as important as when your child was an infant. Panda’s specialists are concerned with the well-being of your little ones and would like to do everything they can to keep you well-informed. Our Panda’s experts have therefore prepared the following notes especially for the parents of children aged two and up. We are sure you will find them helpful. Growth and Development...as your child matures Fortunately, baby's growth slows down after a couple of years. However, it remains unpredictable until adolescence! So it is difficult to estimate how long a child will wear his new shoes. Between the ages of two and three, a child's foot can go up a size over a period of four to six months; whereas from age three to five, a jump in size can take between five to eight months. Over five years old, a change in size may occur anytime between six and twelve months. Of course, those growth spurts can come at any time! The cartilage of a two-year old has barely begun to harden. However, at three years of age the bones are partially formed (you'll notice the arch has begun to develop). Some cartilage will not finish hardening until growth is complete, which is around the age of 21! Even though a child no longer needs high boots to support his ankles after the first two years, his feet remain fragile and sensitive to whatever pressures a bad fit can cause and this will be the case throughout their growth. Actually, a large percentage of foot problems experienced by adults, were caused by ill-fitting shoes when they were growing up. The importance of a good fit is essential if we want to avoid problems as our children’s feet grow. From time to time have your child's feet measured at Panda. Our specialists will be happy to ensure that their old shoes are not too small. Or, you can do your own six-step inspection, just like our Panda’s experts!
SHOE MEASUREMENT AND FITTING ARE NOT A CHILD’S GAME!
Because Panda knows all too well that a lot shoes do not provide the same fit; hence, we cannot rely on the size we see on them. That is just a starting point. What really counts is a proper fitting. With the help of the following six steps, our Panda’s specialists can determine whether a shoe fits your child's foot. To begin, they always measure both feet in order to know what type they are and also to see if one foot is bigger than the other. Then they will examine both shoes...
NO MORE BOOTIES!... DOES IT MEAN NO MORE QUALITY?
After two years of age, the child no longer needs to wear high boots. However, quality footwear and great fit are still extremely important! Children are very active and have an abundance of energy. When running and jumping, they are not aware of the enormous pressure (over four times the child's weight) that is absorbed by a single impact point. Good support is therefore an essential element to avoid ankle injuries and other problems. At Panda, we know it! Concern with quality and support is even more important when it comes to the child's main footwear. In addition to adequate support, comfort can make all the difference! Good leather is supple and durable, absorbs perspiration and is easy to maintain. Good quality soles are also more comfortable because of their better flexibility (exactly where it is needed), shock absorption, lightness, durability and traction. As the child gets older, he becomes even more active but does not outgrow his shoes as quickly. The quality of a durable and comfortable shoe is very important for your child's well-being. Can you think of anything more unpleasant than having to walk all day in uncomfortable shoes?
SHOULD YOU PASS ON USED SHOES TO THE YOUNGEST?
Certain types of shoes can be passed down from the oldest to the youngest, such as those only worn from time to time: rain boots, slippers and sandals. However, shoes worn every day generally take the shape of a child's feet, that is to say the pressure and flex points are formed by the foot's movement. Often a child's everyday shoes are worn until they are too small and also worn out. Actually the support of old shoes will have softened. Should you wish to pass on winter boots, Panda’s experts would advise you to replace the lining to get the most warmth and comfort out of them. Have you ever tried on the shoes of a friend who has the same size feet, and found it most uncomfortable? Well, it's quite normal being that the flexpoint, lumps and bumps are in the wrong spot. Our Panda’s specialists will be happy to check if the "hand-me-downs" fit.
WHAT ROLE WILL THE CHILD’S NEXT SHOES PLAY IN IS WARDROBE?
What an important question to ask! When you choose new footwear, take the time to discuss with our Panda’s specialists the role that these shoes will play in the seasonal wardrobe of your child.Therefore, you can stress quality according to the shoes' function. The accent on quality is greater if the new pair is destined to be worn on a daily basis, and for long periods of time. Evaluating the shoes' function can ensure you that you are spending your valuable dollars in the manner which best serves your needs.