What It Means When Your Kid Walks on Their Toes

Toe walking can be normal for children aged 12 to 15 months as they try out different foot positions. In general, toe walking is nothing to worry about until your child turns 2 years old. Apart from discovering ways of moving, toe walking can stay as a habit that children keep doing over and over. Usually, this stops by the age of 5. However, due to various reasons, toe walking can still be common in children of older ages.

Bright Side always cares about the health of our readers and this time, we feel the need to make clear why toe walking occurs. Be sure to take notes as you read!

It can be a special condition.

If your child doesn’t stop their constant toe walking after the age of 2, you might need to see a doctor. Check your child’s feet first to see if they have tight leg muscles, stiffness in the Achilles tendon, or have a hard time with coordination.

Muscular dystrophy can be the cause.

This is a genetic condition that can be diagnosed by checking a child’s leg and feet muscles. In this case, their muscles are usually weak and atrophied. If your child used to walk straight with a normal pattern and then all of a sudden started walking on their toes, muscular dystrophy might be the cause.

A spinal cord abnormality could be the cause.

A tethered spinal cord is a disorder of neurologic nature. It can cause a limitation of movement in the spinal cord and in the spinal column itself. It happens when the spinal cord is connected to the tissue around the spine like at its base, for example. As a result, as the spine grows, the spinal cord gets stretched out and nerves become damaged.

A tethered spinal cord can be the reason why a child walks on their toes. This condition makes it hard to even walk straight and brings pain. It should be immediately checked out by a doctor.

Cerebral palsy could be the cause.

Toe walking can be caused by cerebral palsy which results in coordination struggles. In this case, you may also notice that muscle tone is affected, there are problems with holding good posture, and there is unsteady walking on the toes. Their muscles can appear very stiff as well.

A habit could be the cause.

This happens when a child is absolutely healthy but for some reason just refuses to walk normally and prefers walking on their toes. This can be the result of a simple habit that they can’t get rid of or of tight calf muscles. This condition affects anywhere from 5% to 12% of healthy children. It’s important to remember, however, that some people keep doing this just for fun, on and off.

Please keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only and you should always consult doctors before making a diagnosis!

How often does your child walk on their toes? What do you do to treat it? Let’s share our experiences in the comment section below.

Please note: This article was updated at June 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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