Shoes that do not fit properly can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these guidelines to help parents find shoes that fit properly:

Shoes that do not fit properly can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. The American Podiatric Medical Association offers these guidelines to help parents find shoes that fit properly:


* Have your child's feet measured every 2 to 3 months until toddler years, then every 3 to 4 months after that.  


* Feet are seldom precisely the same size. Always buy for the larger foot.


* Do not buy shoes that need "breaking in." Shoes should be comfortable from the beginning. Observe your child walking around in both shoes for longer than a few minutes. Then, check each foot to make certain there are no irritation marks.  


* Make sure the shoe is not too heavy. A heavy shoe can make your child walk irregularly, preventing the development of a normal walking pattern.


* If a child complains of foot pain or discomfort, schedule a check-up with your local podiatrist who specializes in children's foot care.


The upper part of the shoe should be made of breathable materials such as leather, rather than synthetic materials. The insoles should be cushioned for comfort.


Typically, the younger the child, the thinner and more flexible the soles should be. It should bend with your child's toes - where the ball of the foot will be, rather than in the middle of the shoe.


-- Family Features


New Research: Preterm babies


Each year, 1 million preterm babies around the world die shortly after birth; countless others suffer some type of lifelong physical, neurological or educational disability, often at great cost to families and society.


-- World Health Organization


Did You Know?


Asthma affects more than 230 million people worldwide, including more than 25 million people in the United States. There is no way to prevent or cure asthma. – NIH.gov


Health Tip: No excuses


Fitness professionals have heard every excuse in the book for why clients can't attend their exercise sessions. When you are your own trainer, disciplining yourself can be difficult. Take time to journal all of the excuses that could sabotage your workout, then add positive solutions for each negative excuse you are likely to use.


-- Life Fitness


Number to Know


50: More than 50 research studies worldwide have found that certain types of news coverage can increase the likelihood of suicide in vulnerable individuals. The magnitude of the increase is related to the amount, duration and prominence of coverage.


-- ReportingOnSuicide.org


Children’s Health: Fast-food ads linked to obesity


New research shows that greater familiarity with fast-food restaurant advertising on television is associated with obesity in young people. Study results showed the percentage of youths who were obese was significantly higher among those who recognized more fast-food ads than those who recognized few ads (17 percent compared with 8.3 percent).


-- American Academy of Pediatrics


Senior Health: Chocolate linked to weight loss?


A recent study that received a lot of media attention says people who eat chocolate several times a week tend to weigh less. But the AARP warns the study could be over simplifying the issue, and consumers still need to use common sense when it comes to chocolate. Some problems with the study, they say, is the researchers didn't ask how much chocolate people were consuming or about other factors that may contribute to weight gain or loss, like smoking or certain medications.


GateHouse News Service