Walk this Way: Tips for Toddlers
A baby’s first steps are shining moments of joy for parents. Don’t let concerns over your toddler’s walking habits pull the shades on your proud moment. It is common for new walkers to walk on their toes initially, but by around age two your toddler should be walking “normally” most of the time. If you are noticing that your toddler is walking awkwardly, stumbling a lot, or seems to not be able to bear their own weight when their feet are flat down, it’s time to contact your pediatric podiatrist. North Florida Foot & Ankle Center has a few tips to keep your toddler trotting along.
- Toe-walkers: Children who walk primarily on their toes and/or the balls of their feet generally grow out of this stage of walking, but if they do not, it could be indicative of a more serious problem. A specialist can provide more information as to the seriousness of the problem and a proper course of action.
- Feet turning in (pigeon toes): This could be indicative of various conditions. Two of the most common are metatarsus adductus where the bones in the middle of the foot turn inward, and tibial torsion where the bones in the lower leg turn in. Both are common and easily treatable when caught timely. If you notice your child frequently tripping over his or her feet or if the toes are pointing inward, they may be at risk for one of these conditions and should be assessed by your pediatric podiatrist promptly.
- Flat foot: Flat footedness in the lack of an arch in the foot. If your child’s footprint shows the entire outline of the bottom of the foot, they more than likely have flat foot. There are numerous causes of flat footedness; from muscle weakness to abnormal bone positioning or development of the bones. The hierarchy of severity depends on how much flexibility the child has in their feet. In the early stages of development, all children will have some degree of flat footedness.
- Other conditions: Be sure to call a specialist at North Florida Foot & Ankle Center right away if there is a noticeable deformity or abnormality of your child’s feet, toes, or ankles. If a condition appears to be hereditary, it is important for the parent to assess the severity of the symptoms of other family members. Early detection and treatment can drastically decrease problems later in life. Please contact North Florida Foot & Ankle Center for an appointment to discuss any of the above concerns.
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