7 Questions About Children Toe Walking
- 16 September 2022
- Posted by: CDC
- Category: Parent Tips,
- Why is my child toe walking?
One very common question for us is, “should I be worried that my child is walking on their toes?” Toe walking is surprisingly common and can be due to a number of reasons. It can lead to problems in the future and therefore should be addressed early.
- What is toe walking?
Toe walking (or ‘idiopathic toe walking’) refers to when children predominantly walk on their tiptoes for no apparent reason after the age of three years.
- When to seek help?
It is recommended that you seek input from a professional if your child is:
- Over the age of three
- Walking on their toes more than 80% of the time
- Unable to stand with flat feet
- Frequently falling or tripping
- Why does my child toe walk?
There are a number of reasons why children walk on their toes. These include:
- Sensory integration issues (i.e. seeking more sensory input)
- Neurological reasons such as atypical muscle tone
- Developmental delay
- Visual field impairments (e.g. challenges with depth perception)
- Structural issues in the feet, ankles or knees (e.g. range of movement restrictions)
- Will my child outgrow their toe walking?
It is very unlikely that children over the age of three years old will stop toe walking without intervention.
- What will happen if my child continues to toe walk?
Unfortunately if left untreated, toe walking can lead to further complications as your child gets older such as:
- Pain in their feet, ankles, knees and/or back
- Foot deformities
- Tightness and restricted movement in their ankles
- Difficulty with gross-motor skills such as using stairs, jumping and squatting
- Frequent falls due to poor balance
- How is toe walking treated?
The treatment approach depends on the reason for toe walking, but may include:
- Sensory integration therapy
- Calf stretches
- Strengthening exercises
- Gait retraining
- Foot or ankle splints
For more information on toe walking please contact your physiotherapist or occupational therapist.