If your previously normal walker suddenly refuses to walk, report this to your baby’s doctor. Take notes based on the following:
- Can you recall anything that may have triggered the refusal to walk, such as an injury or scare after a recent fall? Record details of the day’s activities before the walking strike.
- Do a parent exam. Undress baby. Feel and look all over the legs and feet for bruising, redness, swelling, and areas of tenderness as you carefully squeeze all the leg bones and anklebones. Compare one leg with the other; move the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Does the child wince in pain? Examine and tap around the soles for splinters and pieces of glass.
- Is baby sick? Has she been running unexplained fevers?
- Have there been any recent emotionally traumatic events?
Take your baby (and your notes) to the doctor for a thorough exam. Sometimes a toddler may refuse to walk for as long as a day or two, without any identified cause, and then she resumes walking. Toddler fracture, a slight break in the lower leg bones, are sometimes due to jumping from a high place. These almost always heal without treatment and are incidentally found years later on x-ray.