7 Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Shoes for Kids with Cerebral Palsy
Kids with cerebral palsy require specifically designed clothing, accessories, and shoes to support their needs and to alleviate their quality of life. CP should not hinder your child from enjoying life to the fullest! You just need to learn the disorder to better deal with it and find solutions to help your child overcome its challenges and win at life.
Finding the right shoes means comfort, improved mobility, and regained confidence. Here are seven of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best shoes for your child.
Severity and Type of CP your Child have
CP movement and activity challenges and restrictions range from independent to fully dependent. A child with mild CP can move and function without needing assistance, while one with severe CP would need a wheelchair and help in accomplishing simple tasks. Different types of CP present different manifestations. Physical indicators might include loss of balance, reflexes, and coordination, impaired muscle tone, irregular posture and gait disturbance. No CP case is the same. A child with CP could walk unassisted, with a walking pole, a cane, crutches, or not at all. The key is finding the best type of shoes that would complement the specific needs of your child.
Medical Support and Diagnostic Tools in Place
Splints, braces, and other AFOs are common to kids with CP. These devices eliminate the ordinary shoe shopping. You either get a shoe that fits but is too long or of right length but is too tight. Finding a shoe that will fit both their feet and the orthotic device is a special challenge for parents. To get the best fit and utmost comfort, only buy specifically designed shoes to accommodate their special needs.
Your child’s favourite activity should be considered when choosing his or her shoes. An outdoorsy little guy who is fond of chasing after his dog has different shoe needs compared to a girl who would rather read and cuddle with her cat! Both kids with CP require the additional support of special needs shoes, but in a different way. More active kids will need sturdier shoes like supportive boots and sneakers.
Safety and Comfort Add-ons
Another important factor to consider when choosing the right shoes for a child with cerebral palsy is the wearer’s safety and comfort. Pick a pair that includes inserts, stiffeners, and pads designed to provide stability and comfort. Look for soft paddings in the shoe tongue, ankle, heel, toes, and heel cuff areas. Wide soled shoes with a full leather insole, strong heel counters, and elastic outsoles help provide better comfort and steadiness.
Age of your Child
The age of your child will dictate the style and features of his or her shoes. Toddlers love running around and will need a lot of support and added comfort. Invest in well-fitting and comfortable moccasins, sandals, or sneakers. Preteens are more adventurous and are now starting to socialise, thus the need for great looking and comfortable shoes. Find especially designed sneakers, boots, and sandals for their needs.
Easy to wear Features
Easy to wear and to take off shoes make dressing less complicated, a lot easier, and more fun. Kids are also starting to be independent and love doing things by themselves. That is why wide openings, easy-to-manage Velcro closure, and easy adjustable lace-up designs are highly recommended. Avoid shoes with complicated features and closures, they will only lead to difficulties and frustrations.
Style and Look
Children love colours and style! CP shouldn’t hinder your child from enjoying his or her shoes. Find shoes that will both address their special needs and be trendy at the same time. First Walkers offer a wide variety of colourful and adorable shoes designed to accommodate various special needs care. We have successfully combined special support functionality and style your kids will love.
First Walkers has a collection of boots and high tops specifically designed for kids with special needs including CP children. We have orthopaedic and orthotic friendly shoes for kids from 6 months old to early teens. See the delightful designs and more details of our boots and high tops here.