The start of a new school year can be a time of huge excitement for kids. Your child needs to be prepared for all the fun (hopefully) that lies ahead. Both of you will feel more prepared if you have everything ready and organised. Here are our suggestions on where to buy everything from comfortable school shoes to backpack essentials, and even furniture for your child’s home study.
When does my child need new shoes?
School-shoe experts Ten Feet Tall suggest parents use the simple “rule of thumb” test, at least at the end of every school term:
• Make sure the child is wearing the correct socks, that their heel is pushed to the back of the shoe and that the shoes are fastened securely.
• Ask your child to stand up straight and tall.
• Feel the position of your child’s longest toe in the shoe. (While this is usually the big toe, about a third of us have a second toe that’s longer than the first.)
• To allow for growth, new shoes should have about a “mum’s thumb” width (12-14mm) between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Shoes with less than half a mum’s thumb width of space should be replaced.
Ten Feet Tall’s top tips for foot care
• When buying new shoes, always have your child’s feet measured for length and width using a proper measuring gauge.
• In Singapore’s humid climate, choose shoes made from natural material (leather) to stop feet getting hot and sweaty.
• Inspect children’s shoes for unusual signs of wear and tear (which may indicate a problem with the feet or posture) and seek advice from a podiatrist if you are concerned.
• Also look at children’s feet regularly; inflamed nails, red pressure marks or blisters are a sign that there’s a problem with their shoes.
• Other than rarely worn shoes, it’s best not to hand shoes down among siblings or friends as no two pairs of feet are alike.
• Ensure children learn good foot hygiene, and that their feet are washed daily with soap and water and dried well.
• Never force children’s feet into shoes, no matter what their age, as bones do not fully harden until the age of 18 and ill-fitted shoes can cause misshapen feet.
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