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Description of the Symptom

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Toe walking in the pediatric population is a developmental trait that is normal but can be considered pathological if it (1) persists beyond a certain age, (2) presents with a sudden onset, or (3) worsens over time. Toe walking is common in new walkers, and a child who normally walks with a heel-toe pattern may regress to toe walking in order to find greater stability when faced with a more challenging task such as carrying a large object while walking. This chapter describes possible causes of toe walking in a child.

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Special Concerns

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  • Clumsiness and weakness, especially proximally

  • Sudden onset

  • Signs of shunt (ie, ventricular-peritoneal shunt) malfunction and spinal cord tethering, such as nausea, vomiting, seizures, fever, decline in motor function, and change in affect

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Table Graphic Jump Location
CHAPTER PREVIEW: Conditions That May Lead to Toe Walking in a Child
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Table Graphic Jump Location
Common Ages at Which Toe Walking Presents in a Child

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