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Fallen arches

Children whose feet exhibit fallen arches are those that have no arch on the inside of the foot, this gives the appearance of a flat foot. Babies will have feet with fallen arches, which is completely normal as the inside arch of the foot is filled with a fat layer. Toddlers also have feet with fallen arches, again, this is a perfectly normal stage of development for this age group.

Your child's feet should begin to develop an inside arch of the foot by approximately the age of five or six, sometimes the arch does not develop and if this is the case then the cause of this should be investigated as treatment is very much dependent upon the cause as neurological and developmental conditions need to be investigated.

Lots of children have very flexible joints, which can cause the arch of the foot to collapse. Not all children that fall into this category will require treatment, treatment is only necessary if your child is experiencing difficulty with walking or activities, or if they are experiencing pain.

If your child has fallen arches can help. At we will establish the cause of your child's fallen arches, and will then devise a treatment plan specifically for them. The aim of any podiatric intervention is to improve foot and lower limb function and reduce pain.

What causes fallen arches?

The cause of your child's fallen arches may be attributed to:

  • Ligamentous laxity
  • Tarsal Coalition
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy

For some children the cause of their flat feet is hereditary

What are the signs and symptoms of fallen arches?

If your child has fallen arches they will have feet that appear one of two ways:

  1. The child has an inside arch when non-weight bearing, which collapses and becomes flat as soon as the child stands.
  2. The child has no inside arch when both non-weight bearing and standing.

How are fallen arches diagnosed? has podiatrists who are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of paediatric conditions that affect the foot and the lower limb. Our podiatrists will assess your child's quality and range of movement of the joints in their lower limb and perform a gait analysis, if necessary a neurological assessment will take place.

All tests are painless and are required in order to establish the cause of your child's fallen arches so that an appropriate treatment plan can take place.

Benefits of podiatry for a child with fallen arches

Podiatry may benefit your child if they have fallen arches and it is deemed that treatment is necessary. Benefits of podiatry for a child that has fallen arches can include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved muscle flexibility
  • Improved muscle strength
  • Improved gait

What would podiatry for my child's fallen arches involve?

If your child has fallen arches a visit to would involve the following:

Treatment for a child with fallen arches varies and is dependent upon the cause, but may involve one or more of the following:

Treatment for a child that has fallen arches varies according to each individual patient. The treatment option most suitable for your child will be discussed with you in full.


Fallen arches in children are feet that have no inside arch, some children do have an arch when non-weight bearing, but this disappears or collapses when the child bears weight. Other children have no inside arch to their foot when both non weight bearing and weigh tbearing, these feet appear completely flat.

There are a number of causes for fallen arches in children. Following an assessment at our podiatrists will be able to diagnose the cause of your child's fallen arches allowing them to devise a suitable treatment plan, specific to you.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

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