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Should Children Be Allowed to Walk Barefoot?

It’s important for babies to get used to wearing shoes, and to make young children understand that they must wear shoes whenever they are standing up and active. Nowadays, however, it is commonly accepted that wearing shoes can hinder the development of proprioception in children (perception of the position of the different parts of the body). The development of this sense involves specialized receptors located, among others, in the skin. Proprioception is essential to equilibrium and the coordination of movements. This is why we generally recommend regularly allowing children to walk barefoot on natural surfaces (e.g., grass, sand, soil) to promote the development of proprioception.

Practical Advice

Caress and massage your baby’s feet and legs. This is an excellent way of promoting the development of proprioception.

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