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Toddler who falls awkwardly

(20 Posts)
Booboostoo Sun 18-Nov-12 16:31:06

Sorry for the awful title but I am not sure how to summarize this so here's the long version:

DD is 18 months, started walking at 11 months and has otherwise OK motor skills (e.g. will hold a spoon and semi-successfully feed herself), but is odd in how she falls. Basically she falls completely straight like a tree, she does not bend her knees and crumble nor does she put her hands out. As a result falling is a nightmare both for us and for her.

When I see other toddlers they fall dozens of times a day and just get up, she falls once or twice and it's a really big deal, she bursts into tears, has to be picked up and consolled - but I can see why because her falls have a huge impact.

She very tall and big (98th for weight, 97th for height) could this be the reason? She also can't quite get herself to a sitting position from lying down (needs to pull herself up on my arm) and can't get up from sitting on the floor (she can get up from sitting on a cushion).

Should we be looking into this or are all toddlers different?

amazingmumof6 Sun 18-Nov-12 18:58:02

Most toddlers/people put their hands/arms out to soften the impact as they fall especially to protect their faces/heads.
if she never does this that is not normal, sorry, I'd get that checked.

my DS" was 100% on both weight and height and never had this problem.

could be a neurological thing, a balance thing or even to do with her vision?

Booboostoo Sun 18-Nov-12 21:16:59

She doesn't fall very often, e.g. maybe once every two days and when she falls forward her arms/hands don't seem to support her weight, i.e. she ends up with her face on the ground. It's really horrible to see.

lisad123 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:20:53

I would take her to GP and get her checked by Peac, could be nothing but worth looking at.

Booboostoo Mon 19-Nov-12 11:15:28

She was in hospital recently for tests (unrelated) and I did mention how she fell to all the docs she saw but they did not seem to pay it a lot of attention, however if it is really rare and no one else's toddler falls like this I will press them a bit more on it, thanks.

browniebear Mon 19-Nov-12 11:27:05

I was thinking eyesight too, I use to fall flat in my face a lot when I was little till I had eyes tested at school age and they discovered a lazy eye.
Worth a try

JacqueslePeacock Mon 19-Nov-12 13:16:01

I thnk you should check out the not being able to get herself to sitting from lying as well, as I feel it must be related. My DS (14mo) has been able to do that for at least 5 months as far as I recall, and he wasn't an early mover. Your DD seems not to be able to support her own weight. Could it be related to hypermobility or something like that? Definitely worth getting checked out properly I would say.

gourd Mon 19-Nov-12 13:31:41

Could she have glue ear or ear infection that's affecting her balance? Sounds like she is completely taken by surprise when she falls, so that she doesnt have time to put her hands out.

Booboostoo Mon 19-Nov-12 15:45:13

Thanks for all the suggestions I will raise them with her paediatrician next time we're in.

When is the earliest that eyesight can be tested? My brother had a lazy eye as a young child which was corrected with a patch, although he didn't have problems with falling.

It's probably not hypermobility as her joints are not flexible and her colagen levels were looked into recently when we were investigating the possibility of osteogenesis imperfecta.

An infection is not possible as she's recently had a lot of blood tests to exclude infections. I'll look into glue ear but she doesn't seem to have balance problems, infact she actually falls a lot less than other toddlers I know, it's the way she falls rather than the frequency if you see what I mean. Quite a few docs have checked her ears recently as part of admissions into hospital would they have seen glue ear or does it need a specialist test?

Butterfly1975 Mon 19-Nov-12 20:28:54

Putting hands out to break a fall requires the development or loss of certain reflexes. It may or may not be anything to worry about - all children will develop and lose newborn reflexes at different times. If in every other way her motor skills seem normal, it will likely just develop in its own time (when she gets sick of falling on her face most likely)! However, normally children can transition from lying to sitting unaided by the age of 11 months so this may also be worth checking out with HV or GP.

LindaMcCartneySausage Mon 19-Nov-12 20:43:48

Don't panic yet and think its medical. DS was exactly like this. He would fall over straight, landing flat on his face, like a skittle being knocked over. He never fell over like other children, who seemed to crumple into their fall and thus save themselves. I lost count of the number of eggs he got on his forehead. I'm sure other parents thought I was uber-paranoid, following him around and grabbing his hood if he looked wobbly, but he always fell down so hard and painfully - it really hurt him.

He was an early walker, at 10 months, and he never crawled, which I think was the issue. In fact, he had to retro-learn to crawl. My theory is that he threw all his energy into staying upright - friends would remark on his excellent posture - and he didn't learn to bend, crawl and also to duck, until he was 16 months. As a result, when he fell, he didn't know how to save himself. He's 22 months now and much better at bending, although he still seems to fall harder than others.

Booboostoo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:43:24

Butterfly1975 she is just about able to sit from lying by rolling over sideways without any help, but I think her other motor skills are OK. She can bend over, squat, pick up things from the ground, has good hand coordination.

Linda your DS sounds exactly like DD! She never crawled either and although she can roll she has never been a fan of lying on her front. She bum shuffled rather vigorously but spent a lot of time trying to walk. I'll try to encourage her to learn to crawl, might help her get the idea!

LindaMcCartneySausage Tue 20-Nov-12 12:54:52

Boo - Just to add, there was nothing wrong with my DS's fine motor skills either. I never worried that, in his case, the way he fell was a motor skills or inner ear problem. Only worried that he'd injure himself falling so hard. He had an excellent pincer grip and hand eye coordination. I'm convinced that his falling like a tree being felled was because he missed out a developmental milestone by not crawling - all the effort he put into remaining erect and upright at all times in order to walk very early meant that my DS didn't know to put his hands out to save himself. As I said, he's filling in the gaps now.

Whatsthatnoise Tue 20-Nov-12 14:27:37

Could she have low muscle tone in her upper limbs or shoulder girdle. My dd has low tone throughout her whole body but her upper body is more severley affected.

She was a bum shuffler who never learned to crawl, she also couldn't sit from lying down and hated being on her front. She used to fall exactly like this, she was taught saving techniques by her physio.

I think start with encouraging her to crawl play tigers and speak to the paed next time you are there.

Booboostoo Tue 20-Nov-12 15:45:01

Thank you both!

Whatsthanoise your DD sounds exactly like mine! Perhaps she has low muscle tone from having grown so fast? She's 87cms and 13 kilos already and towers over other toddlers!

I shall encourage her to learn to crawl and speak to the docs (we are due at the paeds next month and at the hospital in Jan/Feb so sadly plenty of docs to see and ask!).

madwomanintheattic Tue 20-Nov-12 15:54:35

I'm thinking low tone too. Dd2 has cp and would fall like that. Physio is lots of weight bearing work on the upper limbs etc, and lots of transition stuff from sitting to standing etc.

If I never have to try and coax the child into playing wheelbarrows again, it will be too soon...

Booboostoo Wed 21-Nov-12 08:18:30

Thank I will try her with a toy wheelbarrow while we wait for docs and see what she thinks. She's quite keen on her toy pushchair so she might like it!

MaMattoo Wed 21-Nov-12 08:27:08

I can't really say anything apart from the fact that my DS at that age was well off the centile charts - past 100 for weight and height. Did not crawl till 18 months and I was worried it might be medical. He runs like no tomorrow now smile so worry with a giant pinch of salt please grin

At his nursery they had a child then who was doing that you mention - plank falling I think I heard. They were giving this girl some soft toys to hold on to and lower into a buggy. A lot of hunch down and play with toys and using the walker to push around kind of things I noticed. But after reading your post I now know what they were aiming for. You could try these?

Booboostoo Wed 21-Nov-12 17:30:30

Thank you it's very reasuring to hear of other toddlers who are similar due to low muscle tone. We have spent the day crawling and practicing falling on our hands!

loonylaura Wed 24-Feb-16 02:34:06

i have tactile apraxia and oral apraxia of speech caused by a traumatic birth. i faceplanted as a child. this could also be evedence of a stroke. can your child kiss or pucker, do they smile or look blank in all their pictures? its well worth dignosing as life is more frustrating if its undiagnosed as i was for most of my life

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