My 10 year old is T1. An older T1 at her school, whose father is T1 too, has warned her not to go barefoot. My cousin, a nurse, has given her a similar warning. I’ve read quite a bit and haven’t seen much foot info for kids. So, someone please enlighten me.
Well, the thought is that diabetics can have impaired feeling in their feet and may not notice when there is a injury. That can make it easy for a cut to get infected and not be noticed until it is a very serious situation. Keeping the feet protected when running around (ie not at the pool) is a good idea as are just eyeballing the feet everyday after showering
Small cuts on the feet can get infected and you may not realize it right away. I cut my feet on a rock in a lake (I wasn’t wearing water shoes) , I didn’t notice it for days afterward and it took FOREVER to heal and was infected. 3 weeks of antibiotic for that. I was 22.
Our endo said that children who have been in good control and have no known symptoms associated with complications should have no more problem going barefoot than any non-D child. Feet and nerve function should be checked at each diabetes care visit to make sure that any possible impaired nerve functioning is caught early, though.
that is true, but checking feet can be a very good habit to establish
Not going barefoot is a good plan. The risk of cuts & subsequent infections are just too great. Even picking something as minor as athlete’s foot in pool areas can lead to a serious infection. Blisters can also lead to infections if shoes rub.
I love being barefoot & hate wearing shoes, but now I even wear shoes in the house.
Good that your daughter gets into the habit of not going barefoot now, so she won’t when she’s older.
I agree with Scott. I go barefoot more than I should (I rarely wore shoes in the summer as a kid - which I think effects me even now), but I check my feet daily, sometimes multiple times… but always at night before bed.
Not that I’ve ever had ANYTHING happen that I wasn’t very acutely aware of, but better safe than sorry, and it’s a good habit to form before you NEED to rely on it.
It’s a good rule. Go barefoot only on a clean sandy beach - for all ages.
I always have socks on no matter where or what was even suggested to me by the foot doctor (can never remember their real name oh well) and a good clean and vaseline does wonders.
The comments already added about good foot protection and hygiene are correct. I cannot imagine how the risk of lower limb amputation is worth the risk for just a few minutes of pleasure running around barefoot. Except for bathing and sleeping, I’ve not been barefoot in over 16 years. I’d just as soon not have the nickname “Hopalong.”
If it is not advisable for an adult T1 to go barefoot, but OK for a kid, then at what age does that change? Better safe than sorry - plus imagine the guilt for a parent who indulged their child and then watches them learn to use a prosthesis.
I got diagnosed at 8 - and my parents always had me wearing something on my feet (socks with sandals - so British - and I got made fun of by American kids when we’d go to the Maine for the summer months - but on the beach I was barefoot and free - weeee!!!). I know I am like a few others, preferring to be barefoot in the house, but the risk of getting a cut, etc. has made me now still go barefoot, but with either a flip flop / Crocs on. They breath at least, and I don’t feel confined. The same goes for outside in the summer time, sandals … NO SOCKS!!! I look at my feet each night, if I have time, rub abit of lotion into them (only started this in my 40’s). So far, feet are in excellent shape, have been told I could be a foot model
BTW, the next West Island Diabetes Association Meeting is all about footcare - if you live close by - drop on by - I’ll be part of the meet 'n greet team - I’ll be the wacko diabetic one wearing sandals if the weather permits it!
I remember back when… not only was I told not to go barefoot, I was told to not wear tennis shoes and to wear a heal and hard sole and…
All wrong, IMHO - shoes are unhealthy for your feet. Everything about infection, etc is true, but if you are in good control and monitor yourself for neuropathy, then barefoot should be OK. The reasons not to go barefoot are no different than for any other child, just more so because the effects from a bad outcome (ie. stepping on a piece of glass) can be much worse.
You might check out the “barefoot” shoe phenomenon that is going on. If I had kids, they’d be wearing Vibrams or Soft Star or similar branded shoes. If I’d known how bad shoes were for my feet I wouldn’t have hammer toes and weak feet now. These shoes allow you to go almost barefoot and still protect your feet some. I feel it when I step on a rock in my Vibrams, but less than I would totally barefoot.
(Disclaimer, that’s all IMHO - if you look at the literature about “barefoot shoes”, you’ll find tons of info for and against. Now that I’ve been “barefoot” for 9 months, I’m completely sold and will never go back.)
If there is no foot neuropathy any injury would be noticed. The problem lies in diabetic with foot neuropathy that can’t feel when their feet are injured to take care of them properly. Kids with diabetes have the same risk as kids without diabetes.
It seems a good rule is, if you must be a kid at age 10 - and this seems unavoidable -, go barefoot, but watch for injuries. I heard foot phobia remarks - as well as phobic warnings on every other injury - from the time I was diagnosed at age 11. I have a few pairs of flip-flops today, which I use a lot because they make going barefoot legal. So, deal with the diabetes police on foot care and other care, but, jeez, be a kid.
Even if you can feel the injury & tend to it immediately, the chance of infection is far greater with diabetes. Healing takes longer. The risk is not the same, nor is the treatment if something should happen–heavy duty antibiotics & going to the doctor constantly.
Another issue is that many of us have extremely high arches. Going barefoot provides no foot support for this. Been down this road with painful plantar fasciitis even before I was diagnosed. Slides & flip flops are the worst for causing this because the toes grab & tense forward & put the foot in an unnatural position.
Shoes that fit properly don’t cause hammer toes or other deformities. In a perfect world of soft ground & no diabetes, barefoot is perfect for allowing feet to breathe & walk normally. Not the world we inhabit.
Ive always gone barefoot. since being diagnosed i watch my feet like crazy, i sadly still go barefoot, i feel suffocated with shoes on.
No joke. The nerves and capillaries in the extremities (hands, feet, legs, etc as you get older) suffer damage from diabetic neuropathy. I have been told this by physicians and have personal experience, Although I am considerable older than 10, the danger of infection haunts ALL diabetics. The consequences are ugly - blood and bone infections, amputations, a much shorter life span.
This doesn’t occur all the time but it can, regardless of age, Remember a diabetic has an impaired immune system.
Watching his feet is essential. Every responsible diabetic athlete knows that foot care is more than having the right shoes.
With all the cute sandals that are available for summer/spring it’s not that hard to get to wear those rather than bare foot. You want to make sure though that the sandals don’t rub anywhere, that they don’t have a lot of openings, that there isn’t a toe piece ( like flipflops) My foot care person says NO sandals, I asked the doc and she said that as long as I inspect my feet and the shoes every night, and be careful NOT to walk in places that have rocks, glass, etc…and to wash and dry them thoroughly each night, I should be okay…if your daughter can do all that…it should be okay. But I’m not her doc, and they might be able to give you some better healthier ideas.