#  What is Podiatry?   

Podiatry is the name given to the study of foot and lower limb (leg) health.


# What is a Podiatrist? 

A Podiatrist is a person who works in healthcare. They help to make sure your feet are kept healthy and pain free to allow you to be active. They work with you to help solve your feet and leg problems. They have been to university and have gained qualifications to allow them to make plans with you to reach your goals.


#  What does CYP mean? 

CYP is the shortened version of Children and Young People. You may have heard the word “paeds” before, which means children. CYP replaces this word.  We have specialist CYP podiatrists in our service.


Our CYP Service

The Children and Young People’s Podiatry Service (CYP) are a team of podiatrists who provide a Fife wide service to children and young people from birth to 18 years old (while in full time education). Our aim is to support you to keep fit and healthy. We might visit schools and clubs to talk about foot health.  Please ask us if you want us to come along and speak to one of your groups.  It is important for you to keep fit and healthy.

Most of our work takes place in clinics.  To find the clinic where we work please go to the contact section.


#  Keeping Fit and Healthy (5 to 18 yrs) 

How much physical activity should children and young people aged 5 to 18 do to keep healthy?

NHS Scotland recommends in order for you to keep healthy that you should try to do:

  • at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should be things like cycling and walking, to vigorous activity (thinks that make you a little out of breath), such as running and tennis.
  • on 3 days every week, these activities should involve exercises for strong muscles and bones such as swinging on playground equipment, hopping and skipping, and sports such as gymnastics or tennis. 

Children and young people should also reduce the time they spend sitting for long periods of time, including watching TV, playing computer games and travelling by car.  You could walk or cycle instead of going in the car! Do you walk to school? This would be a good activity to help to keep you healthy.

Being active for at least 60 minutes (1 hour) a day leads to better general health, stronger bones and muscles, and makes you feel good! 

There are links at the bottom of the page with places like swimming pools and out of school clubs which run classes to help you stay active and best of all they are fun too!


#  If the shoe fits..! 

It’s very important to make sure that you wear the right type of footwear at the right times and for the right activity.  You wouldn’t want to wear wellington boots (wellies) to do ballet and you wouldn’t play football in flip flops!


The right type of footwear will make sure that your feet are protected but are comfortable too.


#     Pre-walkers(babies and those still crawling) do not need shoes - they need booties or prewalking shoes. They should be flexible and not supportive, and mould to the shape of the baby’s foot.  The first "real" shoes can be used when children start to walk by themselves (usually around ages 9 to 18 months). Young children are usually allowed to walk around bare foot indoors. 


#   Trainers  are the most common type of footwear for children at most ages, as long as they have plenty of room for your toes! Types of footwear you might wear are shown further down this page.


Letting your feet #

Shoes that are great for allowing your feet to stay cool are canvas and leather shoes or trainers. Plastic shoes tend to make your feet hot and sweaty.

Insoles (inside bottom of your shoes) these should be cushioned so they feel comfortable to you.

The outside bottom of your shoes (called the outer soles) should not be thick or have sticky soles. These might make you trip and fall.


#  High heels – No way!  

Children and Younger People should wear flat shoes. Older children may wish to wear a small heel but under an inch is best. Flat shoes help to protect your toes. Wearing higher heels push your toes forward and they get cramped against the front of your shoe and it hurts!


#  Did you know your feet get slightly bigger through the day? 

As the day goes on your feet become warmer and through walking, running and jumping they swell but just a little bit. If you go shopping for new shoes it’s better to go in the afternoon to make sure your shoes will fit all day long. You will need roughly 1.25cm at the front of the shoe to allow your feet to grow.

Velcro, laces and buckles will help to keep your foot in your shoes and stop your feet from sliding forward or out of your shoes completely.

If possible you or your parent/carer should have your feet measured every 3 months just to make sure you are wearing the correct size of footwear. Once your feet stop growing you will know what size of shoe you will be when you are an adult.


Types of Footwear

#  Trainers 

These are the most common and popular footwear. Trainers can be used just for everyday walking or during activities like running and playing tag with friends or when you stroll in the park.



A pair of sandals is great for when summer arrives! They stop you from getting hot and sweaty toes. Sandals are a comfortable kind of footwear that you can wear when going out and walking outside. The best type of sandals to wear is ones with straps. Backless sandals or sandals that do not have straps will not give your foot enough support and you can easily slide out of them.


#  Boots 

Flat lace/velcro/buckle boots are great for during winter time. This kind of footwear makes walking on the snow easier and keeps your feet warm and cozy.  Boots are great at protecting your feet against the cold, rain (muddy puddles!) and snow. 


#Formal shoes (dress or dressy shoes)  

You might need these for formal things like weddings and parties. These shoes need to be comfortable too. Some formal shoes might feel stiff and not move as well as your trainers and can cause blisters on your feet – always make sure you are comfortable in all your shoes before you or your parent/carer buy them.


 #  Special Activity Shoes (like basketball shoes, skating shoes or ballet shoes) 

You might not use these shoes as much as you would use your trainers or school shoes but it is still important that these shoes give your feet protection while you are active. This might be when you are doing sports at school or after school club. Having the correct shoes for your activity will help you to do it safely to your best ability.


How can I be seen by a Podiatrist? 

You have a choice of the ways you can access the podiatry service.


#  You (or your parent/carer) can phone to arrange a telephone appointment with a CYP podiatrist if you need advice. The telephone numbers are below.


#   You (or your parent/carer) can complete a Request for Assistance form. Just click here and complete the form. Please try to complete the whole form, we need as much information as possible so we can make sure you are seen by the right podiatrist in the right location!  Once you have completed the form it will be automatically sent to us.  Write down your reference number which you will receive after you have hit submit on the form.  Keep this reference number safe.


#  You can also get the Request for Assistance form from your GP Practice (doctors), health centre or local clinic – just ask at reception. You can also print the form out. Just click on the link under the publications section at the bottom of this page.

We try to make sure we reply to you within 14 days. If you don’t hear from us though please call us on 01592 647199 to let us know you are still waiting. Our telephone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4.30pm.  When you call remember to give us your reference number. This will help us to access your form.



# What happens next? 

If we need more information before we can decide how to help you we will contact you or your parent/carer either by telephone or letter.

You may be asked to make a telephone appointment if we feel a chat and some advice will help.

You may be asked to attend a clinic for a new patient assessment appointment so we can find out how to help. 



What is an assessment appointment? 

An assessment appointment happens when you first visit a podiatrist. The podiatrist will talk to you first to find out a little about you. They will ask you questions about how you are feeling, how your feet are and how this affect you. 


The questions you might get asked may sound a little strange to you.  These questions have to be asked by all health professionals who treat children and young people. They help us to find out if you are happy and healthy, if you like to exercise, if you have friends, if you enjoy school. These questions will let the podiatrist know more about your health and wellbeing.  Wellbeing is if you are healthy and happy. We don’t just look at what is wrong with your feet but how it affects all the things you like to do too.

After a little chat we might get you to walk back and forth, we might even get you to hop, skip or jump! This will let the podiatrist look at all the muscles working which help you to walk.


If you have a sore toe, maybe a blister or cut, we might put a dressing on your blister and tell you how to keep it clean to stop infection.

If you have sore legs or feet, we might ask you questions such as what was your birth weight, were you born early or were you born breech (which means round the wrong way).  All of these might have an effect on the way your bones and muscles grow.


If you have an ingrown toe nail we can give you advice on how to make it pain free.

For more information our guidance on the CYP Podiatry Assessment is held in the publications section at the bottom of this page.



See the source image

You or your parent/carer might have heard the word SHANARRI.  This means Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible, Included. These are indicators (like guidelines) that podiatrists use to make sure that they can identify what help a child or young person needs in order to help them access the right support or advice. These guidelines are the reason that you might be asked  questions like how are you liking school? Do you feel happy and safe at home? If you or your parent/carer would like more information on SHANARRI and the questions you may be asked please speak to a podiatrist or member of the healthcare team (like a health visitor). You can also access the internet just search on SHANARRI.


After my first appointment…..

Between us we will have created a plan on how we are going to work to achieve your goals.  You might need to do some things at home for us such as stretching exercises.  We might ask you to do more exercise, things like talking a dog for a walk, walking to school instead of going in the car or dancing!  Anything we ask you to do is to help us work together as a team to make you feel better!

You will need to come back and see us again so we can see how you are doing.  We want you to be the best you can be and we will work with you to achieve this!


#Information Leaflets 

There are leaflets at the bottom of this page which you may find useful.  Just click on the name of the leaflet you want to read and hey presto it will open up! You can print it out if you want.

 Your feet are very important they keep you going – so let’s help them keep healthy! 




Dunfermline & West Fife Area

Kirkcaldy & Levenmouth Area

North East Fife Area


Carnegie Unit

Queen Margaret Hospital

T: 01383 627088

Monday to Friday

Whyteman’s Brae Hospital

T: 01592 645200

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday

St Andrews Community Hospital

T: 01334 465781

Monday to Thursday



Glenwood Clinic

T: 01592 765034

Tuesday and Friday




Kennoway Health Centre

T: 01333 350449

Monday and Friday



Review Appointment Queries -

Leven Health Centre

T: 01333 432578

Monday to Friday



Useful Web Links

Below are a few web links that will take you to pages that give you more information for Children and Young People.

Child Healthy Weight (BEST)

Scottish Autism

Care Opinion

Fife Council Leisure Centres

Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Young People

Fife Council – Out of School (extracurricular activities)

Fife Council – Sports Clubs and Facilities


Patient Information Leaflets

In the publications section below you can read, download or print out our podiary patient information leaflets.




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