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Sanjay asks: What kind of physical exercise can toddlers perform for development?

"My kid is 1.7 years old. He could not walk like other babies his age do. I checked it through at least 2 physicians. According to them, there is no problem, he will walk at his own. I try to stand him on walker, but he could not walk and crying. I need your support to tell: what kind of physical exercise can a child perform for development?"

Above question asked by an visitor after reading the article, "Kids in Action: Fitness for Children - Toddlers," from the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services):
In Topics: Physical development, Exercise and fitness
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
May 20, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

You have a good question about your son and I am glad he has been examined by 2 physicians who I hope were pediatricians.  Many children don't walk unassisted until close to two; however, they should crawl, pull up to a stand, hold on walk holding on etc...  How is his upper body strength? Does he have speech?

To answer your question, I would try assisted walking, rolling on a big beach ball, swimming with a life jacket and parent support or a YWCA type swim class where he would get non weight bearing physical exercise.

I would, though, take him back to his pediatrician, medical home or a pediatric neurologist or physiatrist for a full muscular evaluation.  You may find these types of doctors through your local hospital by calling their community outreach office.

Good luck.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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