questionMy child walks on tip toes and falls a lot when playing. Is this normal?

answer

Toe walking isn’t something to be concerned about for most children under the age of two. More than half of young children who toe walk will stop doing so on their own by about age 5. Most children toe walk occasionally when they’re cruising around a room (holding on to furniture), especially if they’re on a bare floor. Some kids keep toe walking, off and on, just for fun. If your child is developing in all areas like other children, toe walking is usually nothing to worry about.  You could try sneakers or shoes to see if that makes a difference.

In terms of falling, that would be one of the reasons to check in with the pediatrician when combined with toe walking. However, at certain ages when children are developing higher level gross motor skills like running, jumping and climbing they do fall more frequently. For instance the average two year old falls 38 times per day.

You should consult with your pediatrician in the following cases:

  • Walks on toes most of the time
  • Has stiff muscles
  • Seems uncoordinated
  • Walks awkwardly and stumbles all the time
  • When fine motor skills do not seem to be developing normally
  • If the child can’t bear weight on a flat foot
  • Loses motor skills already developed
  • Has other medical problems
  • Has a family history of muscular dystrophy or autism
  • Was born prematurely
  • Has previously walked flat-footed and only recently began to toe walk