29 answers

15 Month Old Suddenly Falling Alot When Walking

My 15 month old son has been walking since he was 10 months old. For about the past month he keeps falling down every couple of steps as if he loses his balance. Has this ever happened to anyone else? One person told me it could be a heart condition because his normal temp. is 96.5 and a low temperature is associated with heart conditions.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Just wanted to thank all of you for your opinions! He was at the doctor on friday for running a 102 degree fever and they said it was because of his shots, however back again Monday and it turns out he has a bad ear infection in both ears. He is now an an antibiotic and once all is said and done if he is still falling down when the medicine is done we are going to look into further. He has also seen and infectious disease doctor about the temperature to make sure there were no other complications, she said it is perfectly normal for a child to have a low temperature and the only 2 concerns would be if it dropped lower then 94 degrees or went higher then 104. So after all this worrying and a bottle of hair dye to cover those grays =) I hoping it was just his ears! Thanks again to everyone!

More Answers

My daughter has had this problem around that age also. I spent many days in the emergencey room and at the doctors offices because they could not figure it out. They took x rays and everything. I had to take her to a ortherpedic specialist and the called it toxic synuritis I dont know if I spelled that right but that is when the hips of the child gets inflamed and it makes it difficult for them to walk. He told me to keep her off her feet and to give her pain meds like motron and it went away by it self. It was so bad that after a while she could not even sit up by her self

A.,

It could be an inner ear infection. Watch to see if he's rubbing or pulling at his ears. Ear infections will also cause problems with balance. But if he's falling enough to make you worried, have your pediatrician check him out. Also, record every time he falls, and anything else you notice that his not his normal behavior so that you will be able to recount everything to the doctor. If he goes to a daycare, ask them to do the same during the day.

HTH, J.

A.,
I would highly recommend you take your son to a dr to get some answers. If you don't get answers w/ the first doc go to another. This could be something simpley resolved like many have mentioned (growth spurt, shoes, ear infection etc) or it could be something serious that requires quick attention (heart issues or childhood cancer- see http://www.acor.org/ped-onc/diseases/SOCC.html for more info) I am not saying this to frighten you but a child this young can not communicate well what they are feeling so you need to rely on what you are observing and share this w/ his pediatrician, especially if the symptoms do not go away.

I wish you well and a quick healing to your son.

It could be a growth spurt has thrown his balance but I would have him checked out anyways. It is probably nothing serious but if it were, the earlier you catch it, the better...

have his ears checked as well. fluid can produce an equilibrium problem.

Hi A.,
My name is D.. I am a mother and also I am a doctor. I do not treat children. Usually loss in balance sugest a cerebelar problem. If your child keeps having this problem you need to see a neurologyst. An ear infection can cause dizziness too ,and having his ears checked is a good ideea.
I have a son too. He is 14 months , and he looses balance too at times...but not all of the sudden and not frequently.
I really hope it is just a faze and your son is fine.D.

Hey A.,

Have his ears checked. I have a little girl at my daycare that does the same thing. When she was checked the doc said she has fluid in her ears that is causing her to have an imbalance. She is having the tubes put in her ears because the medication is not helping. I am not sure about the low temp being associated with a heart condition but I would have the doc check out her ears first before panicking. Good luck!!!

My first thought was shoes. As they start to outgrow a pair, they will start tripping and falling. Also, is he getting enough rest? This could also impact things. Probably just a growth/balance thing--I wouldn't assume the worst. Good luck.

I have a 15 month also, who started walking at 10 months. I would have to guess he's just processing the world around him and no longer worried or concentrating on walking anymore. It's like when we're lost in our thoughts we tend to trip and become clumsy. They're more likely taking in all the new stimulation. My son falls more now because he's overly excited to chase, observe, and play. I'd say it's perfectly normal, but if it happens every few steps maybe it's his shoes or the surface. If it was something medical, I wouldn't go to drastic thoughts such as a heart condition. It would more likely be an ear infection.

I think there is something with the ears, go to the doctors, I would not worry too much, but get an appointment

it sounds to me like you should take him to the Dr's to have his heart looked at. I've heard that my little brother used to have accidents like this sort of thing and he needed open heart surgery. He's fine now and has ben for a long time. He's in his 30's now.

Hi A.,
I agree with Heather L and would definitely take him to the doctor. It could be something as simple as an ear infection, which would have to be treated anyway, or it could be something more serious which needs prompt medical attention.
God bless you and your son.

I went through the same thing with my son at about the same age. I took him to the pediatrician and he told me that his feet were turning in when he walked and he was actually tripping himself. The doctold me that it is not really that noticable, unless you know what you are looking for. the doc tole me to have Medial Arches put in his shoes. I took him to the shoe store that night and noticed a big differenct as soon as he put the shoes on. My son is now 8 and walks fine. Try not to worry yourself about heart or ear problems. I would take him to the doc ans see what tey say. Good Luck!!! Be sure to keep us posted as to what the doc says.

I would mention this to your ped. He / She will check ears, eyes, feet (shoes) and legs. I'm sure that at his well checks they always listen to his heart. I WOULDN'T jump to the conclusion that this is a heart condition. Your ped would more than likely have noticed something LONG before this. My guess...ear infection!
As I recall, my one son went through a period where he fell often. It passed and is VERY VERY healthy. Don't panic and just have him checked!

I would first speak with his pediatrician. Then perhaps consider checking his vision as his depth perception may be off.My friend had a similiar problem and it was linked to his vision.

Good luck. I hope you find an answer.

M.

Was your son recently vaccinated? Loss of balance is a fairly common adverse effect. If yes, you need to pressure your ped to report the incident to VAERS (the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System) so you're eligible for compensation if the losing balance doesn't stop or is just the most obvious of further complications.

Hi A.
Call the MD and tell him what you wrote.
When my son was small he stopped being able to sit. That was before he could stand, but the same holds. The MD took one look, cleared his office, and met us at the hospital. It was not as big a problem as that sounds, but his hospital records read,"this child was 24 hours from death" Why because he had a milk allergy that we had not recognized and handled rightly and therefore our son was not getting nourishment.
So much easier to call and find out than to try to diagnose it yourself. You probably have heard that you should not self diagnose for you, well it is true about our children. When it is beyond what has happened before it is better to be safe than sorry.
God bless you and your decisions.
K. SAHM married 38 years ---- adult children 37, above child, & coach; 33, lawyer, married with 8 mo; and twins 18, in college.

Certainly I would talk to pediatrician. I will tell you
my story. When my son was the same age, same thing.
Started tripping, falling, walking into things. Then
one day I noticed his eye turned. Off the the eye doctor
we immediately went. He was VERY farsighted. Glasses
did the trick. Certainly that can be one cause, but
definitely talk to your doc. Good luck.

Balance actually has a great deal to do with your ears. He may have an ear infection or another problem associated with the ear. Talk to your pediatrician.

it could be as simple as an inner ear infection.. or something even more.. go to the dr. today.. good luck.. and let us know.. allie~~

It sounds like an inner ear problem. Your inner ear is where your equilibrium is and what keeps you balanced. Talk to your doctor about that. By the way, my body temp always runs low (if I'm 98.6 I'm running a temp) and I don't have heart problems. Check the inner ear.

I would take him to the doctor. He may have a mild ear infection, or fluid in his ear messing with his equilibrum. toddlers and babies often have inner ear issues because of the way that the inner ear is shaped at that age. It is not likely that he would have a heart problem that would go unnoticed by the ped by now, especially if he is normal size and weight, with normal activity for a boy his age. Best of luck.

First, look for anything else that has been out of the ordinary with your son. Has he had an illness; shots; growth spurt; injury; travelled by air; etc? Gather all the info you can so your consultation with your ped. will be as accurate as possible.

Two things that jump out at me regarding balance in toddlers are:

1) Many children start to have balance trouble during or just prior to a growth spurt. I've heard that cranio-sacral therapy is good for getting toddler balance back after a growth spurt.

and
2) Shoes ;)
Note whether the balance problems consistent both with and without shoes--my daughter started tripping and falling really often when outside of the house, but never had any problems at home. One day when we were getting ready to go out, I suddenly realized that her shoes had gotten too small for her without me noticing :D (Too big/bulky shoes can also cause balance problems.)

Other things that can cause balance problems: ear infections/ear pressure, head injuries (has hit his head recently?); severe pressure change; vision problems; injuries to the legs/back (check his feet for sores etc); poor skeletal alignment (consult a chiropractor with experience adjusting babies and young children for this).

Has he had an ear infection? Maybe his equilibrium is off. I'd speak to his ped. Best wishes,
Chris

I know that most kids fall a lot when their shoes are too small. I would take him to get measured if you haven't in a while.

I wouldn't worry to much about low normal temperature and a heart condition. Both my 2 1/2 year old and myself run a lower body temp and neither one of us has a heart condition. Some people just run lower than others. You just have to keep in mind that when the doctor tells you that a 99 is a low grade fever, no it is not because his normal temp is lower than average. As for his stumbling it might be his ears, I would have him checked by the doctor. Also it could also be that he is to busy to pay attention to where he is walking. My 2 1/2 year old is like that. She is clumsy because she is so busy paying attention to what she is doing that she doesn't pay attention to where she is walking. She walks into the walls and furniture because she just doesn't pay attention. Hope this helps.
Keep us posted.
Jenn

When was the last time his ears were checked?
Sometimes ear infections cause one to be off balance.

Nanc

Hi A.. Just another thought...when my little guy was around 19 months he fell off a trampoline...nothing major, but then he started falling a lot. I was at a chiropractor and asked him about it and he checked him out and wound up adjusting him...he said the fall probably knocked him out of whack a little...and he stopped falling after that!!! I don't know if you have a chiropractor for yourself or not, but they are great. Even if it was an inner ear thing it could help that as well. Not sure where you live but in Middlesex County in NJ I have a GREAT guy. Let me know if you want his number.

Have his ears checked. A friends son was having trouble walking, always looked drunk, and finally after fighting with the pediatrician that she thought he had fluid in his ears, He eventually got tubes and when it cleared his walking improved.

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