5 Walking Habits to Watch in Children

Mother with childLearning how to walk is an important milestone in every child’s life. As with learning anything, it can take time for their muscles and reflexes to get used to this new activity. During that time, they may experience troubles with their leg position and movement.

Most of these conditions are normal parts of a child’s development and don’t necessarily mean you need to call pediatric orthopedics for an exam. Here are five things to look out for if you’re not sure.

1. Flatfeet

Most babies have flat feet when they’re born and their arches develop over time as they grow. A child with flat feet has ankles that appear to turn inward when they’re standing still.

Flat feet aren’t generally a cause for concern and can be left untreated unless they cause your child pain.

2. Toe Walking

Toe walking is common for babies as they learn to walk, especially as toddlers. This typically goes away during their third year of life. If your child continues to walk on their toes when they’re in their third year, or if they toe walk with only one foot, then you should consult a pediatric orthopedics doctor.

3. In-Toeing

Walking or standing with the toes turned inward is called in-toe or pigeon-toe walking. This turning inward of the legs is normal in babies during the first 12 to 15 months of their life.

4. Bowlegs

Bowleggedness is another common orthopedic condition in very small children. It’s an exaggerated bending inward of the legs from the knees. This causes the knees to spread outward, and the legs to form an oval shape when the child is standing still.

5. Knock-Knees

Knock-knees occur when a child’s lower legs turn outward, causing the knees to come close together when standing still.