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Concerns about your child's walking

Intoeing

You might notice your toddler or infant walking with toes facing inwards (intoeing or intoe gait) instead of pointing straight ahead during walking or running.

This is sometimes called walking pigeon toed and is commonly found among children at various ages and for different reasons. Intoeing almost always corrects without treatment as the child grows older.

You may be concerned about the way your child walks and feel this contributes to them being clumsy. Intoeing alone doesn't make a toddler more clumsy .Toddlers are usually clumsier on their feet than older junior school children because their co-ordination hasn’t yet fully developed.   Intoeing is common in toddlers and may affect one leg more than the other. It is due to a phenomenon called femoral neck anteversion. It corrects slowly, usually in the first 10 years of life.

Most adults walk with toes pointing 20-30 degrees outwards (so called 10 and 2 o'clock). Children will usually achieve this by the age of ten. In some children with persistent intoeing, surgery might be required when they are over 10 years of age.

Orthopaedic assessment is recommended for children over the age of 6 who continue to intoe. Visit your doctor (GP) to arrange for a referral for your child to be assessed.