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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/675

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the muscles are soft and most sensitive to strains. As a rule, children's shoes are too short and too tight, and no allowance is made in them for the growth which is all the time going on, or trying to go on, in the foot. Evidently an injury cramping the growth at this time can not be remedied; and if the children have any tendency to become bandy-legged or knock-kneed, badly shaped shoes, especially if they have high heels, will aggravate the evil and make it more lasting.

PSM V24 D675 Proper position of the foot on the ground.jpg
Fig. 15.—Proper Position of the Foot upon the Ground.

André, an old French writer, is quoted by Camper as saying that high-heeled boots produce curvature of the spine in children. The shifting of the body from foot to foot to get ease contributes to this effect in one direction, and the bending forward of the body to preserve equilibrium in another, while the soft condition of the bones and muscles is a helping influence to it.

PSM V24 D675 Offset bone structure interferes with proper foot function.jpg
Fig. 16.

It should be remembered, too, that children suffer most from in-growing nails caused by short shoes. Flat-foot, which is also most common among children and youth, is largely the result of convexity of the inner sole—a too common fault of children's shoes. In such shoes the center of gravity of the body is thrown out of its relations with the corresponding point in the foot, and eversions take place. The continuous strain between the foot and an improperly fitted shoe