Childhood developmental milestones are a huge concern for parents. Everyone wants to make sure their little one is hitting the landmarks they should be. Crawling, walking, and running; these are all things we assess to ensure our child is where they should be. So it comes as no surprise that when something appears amiss we are quick to look for confirmation of normalcy.
As Certified Pedorthists we assess gait patterns in people of all ages and young children are no exception. One of the most common reasons for a pediatric assessment is worry regarding in-toeing. It is important to remember that in-toeing is very common in young children due to the structural position of their hips and legs at a young age. In the majority of children these structural positions resolve by eight years old.
It is possible to aid in correcting childhood in-toe. A specialized orthotic called a “gait plate” is used to gently guide the child toward a more straight foot position. In addition it is important to use well-structured footwear, verbally encourage pointing the toes forward with walking and reinforce sitting with legs crossed in front of them. The commonly seen “W” position, when sitting can encourage the continued internal rotation that perpetuates in-toeing.