Children from the age of 12-36 months are going through amazing changes in language, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and body growth during this time. I have been asked, as a physical therapist, many times to take a look at a child in this age group because they fall often or they walk/run “funny”.
The first thing to remember is that this age group is called “toddlers” because they toddle, which is defined as walking unsteadily. Walking is a complex skill which requires practice to master and with practice comes falling. A typical toddler may fall from 15-20 times per hour depending on their skill level and age.
As a matter of fact, falling is considered normal at this rate until after the age of 4. During this time gait during walking or running may look different or “funny” to an onlooking adult due to the child not fully developing a mature gait pattern yet. The age for a child to assume an adult gait pattern can vary but is typically developed by the age of 7. There is a lot happening at this age that may be considered normal but there is a lot of variation that may be a result of underlying pathology.
If you notice your toddler is falling often or has a “funny” gait, don’t panic – there may be no cause for concern. To determine if your child’s falling or gait pattern is typical, contact TEAM 4 Kids and have a physical therapist evaluate the child to determine if there is a need for intervention.