Why some children walk on their toes

Should you be concerned about this toddler habit

Why do some children walk on their toes?
Photo: Thinkstock

It's not uncommon for parents of toddlers to notice that their children have begun walking on their toes almost a lot of the time.

These parents may notice that this affects their child's ability to walk quickly and their child's balance, which causes their child to often trip.

So why do these toddlers walk like this and what can parents do to stop it?

Sydney paeditraician,Β Dr Michael Copeman, says this is a very normal phase for young children to go through, especially boys.

Dr Copeman says it not known what triggers this phase but it can have some links to autism, "It is more common in children who show some autistic traits but most children who toe-walk do not have this problem," said Dr Copeman.

Dr Copeman suggests that parents have their child's nerves, muscles and development reviewed by their GP as toe-walking can indiciate that the calf muscles are too tight.

He explains that nerve damage can cause tight calf muscles, "It may ge a sign of nerve damage, for example, as occurs in children with cerebral palsy."

Dr Copeman is quick to reassure parents that treatments are available for toe-walking.

"If there is an underlying problem with the nerves and muscles, this can often be treated nowadays," he explains. "For example, by careful use of botulinum toxin injections into the legs, to even up the balance of muscle tone, and allow your child to walk with feel flat on the floor."

If you are concerned about your toddler's toe-walking and they display any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you seek advice from your GP who may refer you to a children's pysiotherapist:

  • - Walks on their toes all the time
  • - Has stiff muscles
  • - Has an inability to put weight through their flat foot
  • - Lacks co-ordination
  • - Is not meeting other milestones or has lost already developed skills
  • - Continues to walk on their toes beyond their second birthday

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Last updated: May 2015Β 

12:0AM, Jun 21st 2012

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