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Ask the Expert: What are the Effects on Proper Movement and Development of a Child Who Begins Walking Too Soon?

An "early walker" is a child who begins walking before he or she turns one year old. A physical therapist shares the effects of walking too soon on a child's proper movement and development.

Child Crawling in BlanketThis is a concern many parents can relate to. A child is considered to be an early-walker if he or she begins to walk prior to 12 months old. If a child begins to walk after 18 months the or she is considered a late-walker.

Early-walkers have a higher likelihood of suffering lower back pain as adolescents and as adults. Children who are early-walkers have a higher incidence of low back pain as adults because they may have missed out on the crawling pattern, which actually helps develop the core. The movement patterns typically found in Pilates are very similar if not identical to the movement patterns of a developing baby.  

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The longer the child takes to walk, the more time they have to develop the neuromuscular connection between the brain and the core. If a child is not walking after 20 months a consultation with a pediatrian is recommended. 

Alexander Rosado, PT, PC, DPT, CSCS, is a sports performance physical therapist who owns and operates Bardonia Physical Therapy and Wellness in central Rockland County, NY. Dr. Rosado practices with an appreciation for the kinetics of human development and movement. Dr. Rosado specializes in pediatric athletic development.  

For more information about Dr. Alexander Rosado and/or Bardonia Physical Therapy and Wellness please visit their website www.bardoniapt.com or call (845) 507-0477.