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Walking on the toes or the balls of the feet, also known as toe walking, is fairly common in children who are just beginning to walk. Most children outgrow it.

Kids who continue toes walking beyond the toddler years often do so out of habit. As long as your child is growing and developing normally, toes walking is unlikely to be a cause for concern.

Toes walking sometimes can result from certain conditions, including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and autism spectrum disorder.

Symptoms

Toe walking is walking on the toes or the ball of the foot.

When to see a doctor

If your child is still toe walking after age 2, talk to your doctor about it. Make an appointment sooner if your child also has tight leg muscles, stiffness in the Achilles tendon or a lack of muscle coordination.

Causes

Typically, toe walking is a habit that develops when a child learns to walk. In a few cases, toe walking is caused by an underlying condition, such as:

Risk factors

Toe walking out of habit, also known as idiopathic toe walking, sometimes runs in families.

Complications

Persistent toe walking can increase a child’s risk of falling. It can also result in a social stigma.

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