Heels for toddlers should not be encouraged

2015-10-15 06:00
PHOTO: precious gumede

Afika Silangwe in her favourite pair of heels.

PHOTO: precious gumede Afika Silangwe in her favourite pair of heels.

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TODDLERS never sit still - they run, jump, laugh and play. They also fall over when wearing flat shoes or even when not wearing shoes, so how often would they fall over in heels is something some parents are asking.

In some pre-schools toddlers are asked to wear heels on their big day “graduation day” and parents go all out to find the perfect heel for the little one.

A Mkholombe parent says her child’s school asked parents to buy heels for their girls to wear on graduation day, and even specified the type of heels they should buy.

“I do not understand why our toddlers are asked to wear heels. Firstly these heels are expensive and secondly our children cannot walk in them,” said the parent.

The question is, are heels suitable for the toddlers’ feet and legs?

According to doctors toddlers are most likely to twist their ankles while wearing heels, particularly if the heel is above two centimetres high.

Specialist paediatrician Dr Lovelene Ramouthour said heels are certainly not healthy for a young child.

“High heels put strain on the developing muscles of the feet and lower limbs,” said Ramouthour.

She said the question that should be asked is why the encouragement for little girls to behave like adults.

“We should let children be children and encourage exercise and freedom of movement in our children.

“Surely some girls will want to wear heels as part of play and when they tire they will remove the heels. We, as better knowing adults, should rather be encouraging healthier ways of dress and living in general in children,” she said.

A teacher, Vanessa Pillay, from Marburg Haven Pre-School said its never specified that toddlers come in heels for their graduation ceremony.

“We do not tell the parents to dress their children in high shoes, but most of the time it is their preference to do so.”

Pillay said even on a normal school day some of the children come to school in court shoes with a little heel.

Toddlers are most likely to twist their ankles while wearing heels, particularly if the heel is above two centimetres high

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