Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Child development: Early walker or late walker of little consequence

Date:
March 28, 2013
Source:
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung
Summary:
On average, children take the first steps on their own at the age of 12 months. Many parents perceive this event as a decisive turning point. However, the timing is really of no consequence. Children who start walking early turn out later to be neither more intelligent nor more well-coordinated.

On average, children take the first steps on their own at the age of 12 months. Many parents perceive this event as a decisive turning point. However, the timing is really of no consequence. Children who start walking early turn out later to be neither more intelligent nor more well-coordinated. This is the conclusion reached by a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

Because parents pay great attention to their offspring, they often compare them with the other children in the sandpit or playground. Many of them worry that their child is lagging behind in terms of mental development if it sits up or starts to walk a bit later than other children. Now, however, in a statistical analysis of the developmental data of 222 children born healthy, researchers headed by Oskar Jenni of the Zurich Children's Hospital and Valentin Rousson of Lausanne University have come to the conclusion that most of these fears are groundless.

Considerable variance

Within the framework of the Zurich longitudinal study, the paediatricians conducted a detailed study of the development of 119 boys and 103 girls. The researchers examined the children seven times during the first two years of their life and subsequently carried out motor and intelligence tests with them every two to three years after they reached school age. The results show that children sit up for the first time at an age of between slightly less than four months and thirteen months (average 6.5 months). They begin to walk at an age of between 8.5 months and 20 months (average 12 months). In other words, there is considerable variance.

The researchers found no correlation between the age at which the children reached these motor milestones and their performance in the intelligence and motor tests between the age of seven and eighteen. In short, by the time they reach school age, children who start walking later than others are just as well-coordinated and intelligent as those who were up on their feet early.

More relaxed

Although the first steps that a child takes on its own represent a decisive turning point for most parents, the precise timing of this event is manifestly of no consequence. "That's why I advise parents to be more relaxed if their child only starts walking at 16 or 18 months," says Jenni. If a child still can't walk unaided after 20 months, then further medical investigations are indicated.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Oskar G Jenni, Aziz Chaouch, Jon Caflisch, Valentin Rousson. Infant motor milestones: poor predictive value for outcome of healthy children. Acta Paediatrica, 2013; 102 (4): e181 DOI: 10.1111/apa.12129

Cite This Page:

Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung. "Child development: Early walker or late walker of little consequence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075702.htm>.
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung. (2013, March 28). Child development: Early walker or late walker of little consequence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075702.htm
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds zur Foerderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung. "Child development: Early walker or late walker of little consequence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328075702.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins