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Walking and Leg Development
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My 15 month old son is still unsteady on his feet. Does he have bow legs? What should I do?

Shwetha (Nasik, India)

A: Learning to walk is an important mile stone. Instability in walking can persist for up to 18 months. The development varies from child to child. Do not compare one child's development to another. For all you know, your child may be advanced in other developmental aspects.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My 1 year old daughter walks with support. Is this normal? I had a low Hb count before pregnancy, which rose slightly when I was pregnant. Could this be why my daughter still does not walk?

Purnima (Bangalore, India)

A: A low Hb count during pregnancy only affects the birth weight of the baby. In addition, your child's development is normal. Many babies still require support while walking at the age of 1 year to 14 or 15 months.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son walks with a little bend towards the inner side. I have shown him to a few doctors who have suggested that I massage him and make him wear shoes. In addition, his stomach is often tight and fat towards the front side. Please help.

Nishant (Mumbai, India)

A: What your child has is called in-toeing. The simplest solution for this is not to do anything. As the child grows, his bones will align themselves. If you are still worried, try this: Make your child wear his shoe reverse - that is, right shoe in the left foot and left shoe in the right foot. Try this for 6 months. His problem may get corrected. If you are still worried, consult an orthopaedic surgeon. For the other problem regarding his stomach, there is no need to worry.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: Can I make my three month old child wear diapers? Do diapers cause damage to the leg muscles of such a small child?

Urmi (Delhi, India)

A: Diapers delay toilet training. They also predispose a child to urinary infections. However, there is no damage caused to the child's muscles.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: Our breech baby was born two weeks ago, with a problem of 'postural defects' in her legs. Our baby is unable to fold her legs backwards from below the knee. Our doctors are saying that the development of leg bones are normal and this defect is due to the position of our baby in the womb. Is this defect curable? What should we do?

Prithvi (Calicut, India)

A: There is no need to worry. With time your child's legs will become straight and normal.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son is almost 3 years old. When can I enrol him in skating classes?

Shreya (Bangalore, India)

A: You should wait until he is at least 5 years old.

Dr. Subba Rao

Q: My son tip-toes when walking. How can I help him avoid doing this?

Bhavana (Mahabaleshwar, India)

A: Your child is just about learning to walk. Be patient.

Dr. Balasubramanian

Q: Is it safe to use exersaucer/walker for babies? If yes, at what age should they be used?

Tina (Indore, India)

A: Walkers can be used from around 10 months of age. The one in which babies can sit are safer as compared to the ones which the babies have to push.

Q: My daughter is 27 months old and has delayed milestones. She cannot walk, but after physiotherapy she can sit and talk a little. Is any surgery required? Will these delayed milestones have a lasting effect, or will things normalise as she grows older?

Damayanti (Dehra Dun, India)

A: There are many reasons for delayed milestones. If your child's brain is affected because of a metabolic problem or if she has a neurological problem then she might have delayed milestones. You have not spoken about the intellect of your child. Some causes are treatable and some are not. I am not sure whether you have seen a paediatrician so far. If not, please see one, preferably a paediatric neurologist. If the delayed milestones are due to a treatable cause like thyroid problems, then you needn't worry. If the cause is not easily treatable, she needs to continue with physiotherapy or her muscles will contract in the future. Only when this happens is surgery needed to release the contractures. Apart from this, surgery will not help your child to walk.

Dr. Balasubramanian

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