THE Taoiseach has announced children’s shoes will soon be available to purchase by appointment. The decision comes following concerns that were raised by medical professionals and parents surrounding the necessity of professional fittings and shoes for children.
Speaking in the Dáil today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the Government is finalising specific guidance “that would facilitate shoe shops, and in particular shoe-fitting services, to measure and to provide for children on appointment online or by phonecall.
"The only basis being, to provide that service with the subsequent sale of children’s shoes only.”
He stated guidance on the issue will be published soon.
Paul O’Connor from Paul O’Connor Shoes in Ballincollig and Oliver Plunkett Street said prior to the announcement, they had been inundated with calls from parents seeking advice on children’s shoes and shoe fittings. The store had been providing an online service which Mr O’Connor described as “unworkable”.
He said many children who they would have fitted for shoes around the Christmas period will now be in a need of another fitting.
“From a health point of view, from a foot development point of view, a child walking at 13 or 14 months would need their foot checked regularly and every three or four months.
“Some kids would get maybe five months out of their first pair of shoes, some might only get barely eight weeks, and you have to constantly monitor it from a foot health point of view.”
Within a few hours of the announcement by the Taoiseach, Mr O’Connor said they had already received a substantial number of queries, with people hoping to book appointments for the weekend.
“Every day we’ve had so many parents ringing, especially for toddlers who are just beginning to walk saying ‘how can I measure?’ and that was a constant question,” he said.