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Should schools "profile" all students to identify those who may become violent?
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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My 15 month old child is bow legged. Her pediatrician says that she will out grow it. Is this true?
    

Almost every child develops temporary bow legs at sometime in the development. Only when the conditions are extreme or persist longer than usual does the presence of bow legs indicate a more serious problem. Therefore, we agree with your pediatrician that the bow-legs in your child is normal and that he will outgrow it in time.

In the first 18-months to 2 years of age, kids legs are normally bowed. Medically this condition is known as genu varus. When they begin to walk, most toddler's legs are to some degree bowed, that is, they curve outward at the knee level in a shape resembling a bow. As the lower back and leg muscles develop, the legs straighten out and by 2 1/2 to 3 years of age appear normal. Interestingly, during the third and fourth years of life, a child's legs begin to curve in the opposite direction, resulting in knock knees, medically known as genu valgus.  The child's knees touch—or knock—when standing with feet apart. Knock knees gradually diminish with age and usually disappear by the time the child enters school. The condition tends to be more pronounced in overweight children.


There are some rare disorders of the bone which can cause bow-legs. In one of these disorders (Blount's disease), the shinbone, for unknown reasons, fails to develop normally and becomes deformed. In another, rickets , bones and cartilage fail to develop properly because of a deficiency of calcium or phosphate, usually resulting from abnormal kidney function or a severe lack of vitamin D.


After reading about the natural history of bow-legs in children, you can see why your pediatrician feels that no treatment is necessary. Only when the condition affects one leg or persists beyond the normal age, do pediatricians become concerned.

When would we worry:

  • If the bow legs persist past the age of 2 1/2 years
  • The child is still knock kneed after age seven
  • Only one leg is bowed
  • The bowing gets worse as the child gets older

Thanks for your question. This is just another example of the difference between children and adults..... in kids, it is often normal to be abnormal.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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