Is your child hitting their developmental milestones?

March 21, 2019

The secret to how childhood milestones impact on your child’s feet!.

It is certainly no secret that as parents we are encouraged to monitor our child’s development. What is not always clear is why we do this and what difference it really makes at the end of the day.

“While it is great to see your child hit their milestones what is often left unsaid or unclear is what to do when they do not. This can be a source of great anxiety for parents.”

New parents are commonly known for keeping track of their first child’s milestones. Taking lots of photos, keeping a diary and documenting every new movement that they make. We know milestones are important and we need to keep track of them but… WHY? And why would my podiatrist want to know about them.

Milestones are physical acts or movements that we look for at a certain age to gauge whether the child is developing the way we want them to. They can monitor both physical and neurological development and are key indicators for potential future problems. If your child isn’t reaching their milestones or is consistently late then, this can give us some hints that they may need some help. The areas in which they are delayed each give different clues around what may be holding them up and the best steps we can take to help them move forward. The best thing to do is to visit a health professional.

Generally this should get you onto the path that will get your child the best help. But as can be seen from the table below because these milestones are only a guide and the range can be quite broad there can also be differing opinions about when intervention is required. If you are the parent of a child who fits into this category please do not be afraid to keep asking the question. As there is no set guide and every child is different if you feel something is not right then continue to follow up with your chosen health professionals  until you get the help you need.

Milestones are very important to podiatrists and there are some key ones that we look out for:

 

 

Milestone Age Comment
Rolling over 6-9 months Most children will roll from their back to their stomach first

 

Sitting up 4-6 months Unassisted sitting is more towards the 6 month mark

 

Crawling 9-12 months Army Crawl and bum shuffling are not normal crawling patterns and should be investigated.

 

Speaking 12 months – 3 years By 3 years of age the child should be saying 3-4 word phrases.

 

Fine Motor skills 12-18 months This includes; grabbing small things, building blocks, feeding self etc.

 

Walking 12-18 months It is normal to see your child’s legs bend ‘outwards’ when they start walking, but if they aren’t it can indicate low muscle tone or an underlying weakness

 

 

 

 

Gaining Confidence 18-24 months Stand and walk well alone. Bend or crouch to pick up an object. Climb a ledge or up steps. Walk backwards a few steps. Kick a ball

 

Growing new skills 24-36 months Child’s gait has refined considerably. Run. Throw a ball. Walk up and down steps, two feet per stair. Jump with two feet together.

 

 

 

 

Gaining Independance 3-4 years Puts on their shoes. Walk heel-to-toe. Narrowed base of gait. Stand on one leg. Jump off a step, both feet together. Climb up stairs, one foot per step.

 

These milestones are guidelines for what to expect for your child and aren’t always going to be the case with absolutely everyone. But, if you have noticed that your child is in pain, walking differently to the other children and/or have not met any of the milestones on time then we definitely advise to go and see a health professional.