(HealthDay News) -- Flat feet, sometimes called fallen arches, occur when joints are loosely connected in a child's feet. When sitting, the feet may appear to have normal arches, but the feet flatten when the child stands up and weight is applied. The condition can occur in one or both feet.
If your child hasn't developed arches by the time he is 2 or 3 years old, the American Academy of Family Physicians says he could have flat feet. Corrective surgery or special orthopedic shoes usually aren't needed, and flat feet rarely cause serious problems in children or adults.
If your child has foot or ankle pain, a doctor can determine if the pain is caused by a hip or knee problem. If flat feet are the cause, the doctor may recommend shoe inserts or heel cups to provide more support and alleviate discomfort.