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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is intoeing?

Intoeing means your child walks with his or her toes pointed in. It is also called pigeon toe. One or both of your child's feet may be affected. Your child may start to show signs of intoeing any time up to about 8 years of age. Intoeing is common in children. It can be mild or severe and often goes away without treatment.

What causes intoeing?

Many types of intoeing are genetic (passed from parent to child). The following are common conditions that can lead to intoeing:

What are the signs of intoeing?

The signs will depend on what is causing the intoeing.

How is the cause of intoeing diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask when your child's intoeing started and if it is getting worse. Tell the provider if you notice any serious problems your child has walking or running. Tell the provider if anyone in your child's family has intoeing or if you had any problems during pregnancy or delivery. The provider may also ask when your older child started walking. X-rays and similar tests are usually not needed unless the intoeing is severe or other problems are found. Your child's healthcare provider may use any of the following to find the cause and to plan treatment:

How is intoeing treated?

Your child's intoeing may need treatment if the foot position does not straighten on its own. Treatment may also be needed if your child's intoeing is caused by a problem such as cerebral palsy or clubfoot. Most intoeing treatment is meant for babies who have not started to walk. Your child's healthcare provider can tell you if your toddler or older child needs treatment.

What can I do to help manage my child's intoeing?

When should I contact my child's healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.