How do you help a child break the habit of walking on her toes? It started when she was a baby in a walking ring[ yes I know it was a bad mistake] and has continued in to school years. Any advice or suggestions please?

Margie - posted on 09/11/2011 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Please send in any suggestions or tried and tested things that have helped you ar someone you know to break the habit of toe walking?

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Alison - posted on 09/14/2011

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My little girl used to do the same and we were told to put wellie boots on her as she couldn't toe walk in them. We did and she only had to wear them for a couple of months and her toe walking stopped. Hope it helps for you.

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I did it too.... and i turned out to be an incredibly talented gymnast (for 19 years) and dancer (still dancing) plus managed to get married, have kids of my own, earn 2 doctorate degrees, and travel around the world :-) oh and I still run everyday..... on my toes. this is all to say IF a doctor says there's nothing inherently wrong - it's just a habit then there is NO need for you to worry!!! she is going to be just fine! t

Gillian - posted on 09/13/2011

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I am a pediatric physical therapist and I have worked with many toe walkers. I usually start seeing them about 3-4 years old. The first thing I would ask is if she has full range of motion in both ankles and is she flat at any time. In shoes, on grass or carpet pillows etc. Then I would see if there is any sensory sensitivity in her feet. If she has been toe walking this whole time there will be some because she doesn't put weight through her heels so walking flat is not normal for her and will feel incorrect no matter how much you ask her to walk flat.

I would have her walk on all types of surfaces, walk backwards, on balance beams etc and see where she is flat. Sometimes firmer soles on the shoes will help or higher at the ankles. Doing games with walking on the heels or taking monster steps etc may help. There is bracing that can help also if needed at some point.
It can cause ankle/foot, knee problems in the future and sometimes I see kids in there early teens that have problems with running steps etc that need surgery so I would just make sure the range of motion is there to prevent further problems.
There are also squeaker shoes that make noise when the heel hits the ground http://wesqueak.net/mm5/merchant.mvc?Scr...

Brenda - posted on 11/20/2012

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My 13-year-old has toe walked since he started walking. At age 5 he had casts put on for five weeks to stretch his Achilles and the had physical therapy for six weeks. He went back up on his toes. At age 6 he had surgery, bilateral Achilles lengthening. He wore casts for 5 weeks. He walked flat for a good length of time and then back on his toes. Just had an ortho consult upon pediatrician's referral for tight heel cords and limited range of foot motion. Ortho says surgery again, but higher up on the calf muscle and Botox injections into the calf muscle, with casting for 4 weeks and then plastic orthotics for 2 to five years!!!! Ugg, He is not happy about this. We are considering this surgery, but wanted to know if anyone else is out there that has gone through all this and had success. It's an awful long time if it does not work.

Amanda - posted on 09/12/2011

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Put her in thick soled shoes, like air walks. Make her wear them all day long. It is a lot more work to walk on her toes in thick soles. The only way to break a habit is start a new habit.

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Wanda - posted on 01/31/2012

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My son that is 25yrs old now walk on his toes when he was bare footed for yrs. I never worried about it ( there is to many other things to worry about besides that) He is a fine young man without anything wrong with him.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/14/2011

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From what I understand, this is a normal part of growth and development. If it is truly becoming a physical problem, speak to your pediatrician about your concerns. Physical Therapy may help.

[deleted account]

oh I forgot to say - i didn't ever use a walking ring and i started walking at 8 1/2 months plus all my kids do it too hahaha and we didn't use a walking ring in fact my kids walked between 7 1/2 - 10 1/2 months

Nina - posted on 09/13/2011

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My daughter does that and I toook her to her doctor and he said that that is normal in kids learning how to walk. He said she will eventually forget about it and if we see he doing it not to draw special attention to it so she knows its not a cool thing to do. He did tell me that since she does do it its good to massage and stretch out her feet and ankles. If you are really worried then take her to the doctors.

Ranelle - posted on 09/13/2011

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You might want to consult with a physical therapist as after years of walking this way may have developed "muscle memory" that a physical therapist would need to address.

Sherri - posted on 09/13/2011

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Having been in a walker has nothing to do with why she walks on her toes. However, what we had to do with a 2yr old I watch is constantly every single time you see it remind her off your toes. It is instinct and extremely hard to break but it is possible with a lot of diligence.

Nicola - posted on 09/13/2011

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The physio has me get my daughter to walk backwards this apparently strengthens the muscles for normal walking and as a bonus she thinks its fun to do we just do it on the way to and from school for a part of the walk.

Amanda - posted on 09/13/2011

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Make it into a game! If you have a flat foot walking game or something fun they certainly listen more and will do it more. After practice and a lot of reminders from you she will grow out of it.

Brieanne - posted on 09/13/2011

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Make it a game - exaggerate walking heel to toe. Idk exactly how old your child is, but maybe play the song that goes "the ants go marching one by one, hoorah, hoorah"...

Jessica - posted on 09/13/2011

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My son attends speech therapy and so we see others who go in for physical and occupational therapy. I saw this one toddler who goes in for walking on his tippy toes. His mom says he just learned wrong and now has to attend physical therapy to basically reteach him how to walk. I've heard them saying "flat feet" as he walks around :)

Carol - posted on 09/13/2011

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How old is your daughter? If she's old enough to carry on a conversation with, explain to her that she needs to walk on her heels. My son is a toe walker and he just turned 11. The beast is only an inch shorter than me, so the toe walking is harder to take now that I have to look up to him on his toes. lol We were told by a specialist that 1) he didn't have any medical reason for it and 2) to create a special word for him to signal to drop back down. My son thought it was stupid, so our special word was "heels." He seems to go in spurts with it, more around the house, less if we're out hiking. Good luck.

Karen - posted on 09/13/2011

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As a Preschool teacher for many years I would say just keep reminding over and over and over again. It is hard and gets old fast I know but...... it will work. Also, a good pair of tennis shoes with good support will help.

Nicola - posted on 09/12/2011

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your child may have tight heel my son did i has to give him physio twice a day and now he walks fine ask your heaalth visetor for tips xx

JuLeah - posted on 09/12/2011

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If she is a tollder no worries, odds are she will out grow it.

This is not the falut of the walking ring

Mostly, I'd ignore it -

IF she is older, grade school AND there are other issues, then take her in for an evaluation

Nikki - posted on 09/12/2011

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Well if you have seen a doctor and there is nothing wrong I would just practice walking with her. Remind her until she begins walking normally.

Margie - posted on 09/12/2011

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She's bright- doing well at school and has seen/ been assesed by medical experts. They all say it's just a bad habit. I suppose I should ask about ideas on how to break bad habits....

Nikki - posted on 09/12/2011

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I would talk to your doctor, if she is at school and cannot walk flat footed then you might need to get her assessed or see a physio, maybe a podiatrist etc.

Katherine - posted on 09/12/2011

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Walking on the toes or the ball of the foot — also known as toe walking — is fairly common in children who are just beginning to walk. Most children outgrow toe walking by age 2. Kids who continue toe walking beyond the toddler years often do so out of habit. This is known as idiopathic toe walking. As long as your child is growing and developing normally, toe walking on its own in early childhood isn't likely cause for concern.

It's important to keep an eye on other signs and symptoms, however. For example, toe walking accompanied by lack of muscle coordination could indicate cerebral palsy. Toe walking may also be a sign of autism or other developmental disorders.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/toe-wal...

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