Family First with FOX43: Finding the right fit for toddler feet

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- With each step, 14-month-old Coralee Hockenberry gets faster and more confident in her abilities. The youngest of five siblings, she started walking five months ago, and now can pick up the pace wherever she goes.

At this point, her mom, Stacey, is used to watching her kids grow up fast.

"It's a milestone to have them walking, but when they do it's like, let's go back to them crawling," she says.

That experience has also helped prepare her for physical growth, and nothing grows faster in toddlers than their feet.

According to the National Institute of Health, children between the ages of 12 and 30 months see their feet grow about a half size every four months. That equals out to about four to five pairs of shoes from the time they start walking around one year old until they turn two and a half.

Kristen Gustafson, manager at the newly opened Shoe Fly Harrisburg in on Rt. 22 in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County, is stressing the importance of constantly getting your toddler's feet professionally sized so they are wearing the right size shoes.

"Almost overnight they’ll change sizes," Kristen said. "A lot of times a parent will come in and say that their child is tripping in their shoes, that the shoe must be too big. It’s honestly the opposite, the child shoes are too small."

Gustafson adds a good rule of thumb when figuring out if your child needs new shoes is to measure the width of your thumb from the end of the biggest toe to the end of the shoe.

Keeping a proper fit, she says, helps decrease the chances of blisters and ingrown toenails, and ultimately helps your toddler learn how to walk properly.

"That will give them room to grow and to to let their toes spread out," she said.

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