Sometimes a child likes to tip toe when he is playing.

How to Keep a Toddler From Walking on Their Tiptoes

by Tara Shore

Does your child walk around as if she is wearing imaginary heels? You know -- a constant toe walker -- where she must think that her heel will break if it touches the ground. Well, rest assured that it is normal for many toddlers to walk this way, and most eventually stop. However, if you find it annoying and want to push the issue, there are a few things you can try.

Put shoes on your child, which may solve the problem. For some children it might be a case of pretending or playing. He might like to walk on his toes in his bare feet and while playing around but walks normally when in shoes. Try having him wear shoes more often and see what he does.

Find out why she walks on her toes. Maybe there is a simple explanation for your child's tip-toeing style. If your child is old enough, sometimes simply asking will give you a clearer picture of what is going on. In some cases a child may walk that way because at some point she hurt her heel on a rock or burned her foot on hot pavement. Say something like, "Why do you walk on your toes? Do your feet hurt or do you just like to be taller?" Let her answer, and if you can, solve the problem.

Stretch out your child's Achilles tendons. (Who doesn't love a foot massage?) When you are just having some quality time with her or watching television, help stretch the tendons at the back of her feet. Push her feet up slightly as they would be if she were walking on her heels. This will stretch the back tendon. According to the Mayo Clinic, one cause of toe walking is a short Achilles tendon. You could also play a little game to help stretch it out. Ask her if she wants to see who can walk on her heels the longest.

Try reminding her to walk on her whole foot if she's old enough to understand. Bend down and say, "You know it isn't good for you to always walk on your toes. You might trip or stub your toe. Let's try walking flat footed like the big boys do." After talking to him, show him how you would like for him to walk, and then remind him to walk flat footed when you see him on his toes.

Take her to the doctor if the toe walking persists, and she never seems to walk or even stand on her full foot. According to the Mayo Clinic, toe walking can be a symptom of something more sever such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or autism. But don't panic. This isn't to say that your child necessarily has one of these, but it is better to rule them out early.

About the Author

Tara Shore holds a Bachelor of Science in business finance and has written for online publications since 2007. She has professional experience in banking, accounting, travel and teaching. Shore is also a master gardener and a travel agent.

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