This website uses cookies to give you the best experience. By continuing to use this website you are consenting to cookies being used. You can delete and block cookies from within your browsers settings. For more information please refer to our privacy and cookie policy page.

Continue

'Clumsiness'

'Clumsiness' is a term that is used sometimes in lay language to describe a child with motor abilities that are less compared to their age-matched peers. Healthy normal young children as a feature of their developmental stage may be prone to falling or unable to perform tasks requiring manual dexterity. It is important therefore to be aware of normal development and motor milestones. 

The child who is well, without pain and has no limitation in function (play or walking) and has achieved normal milestones, is unlikely to have pathology. 

Indications for concern include:

  • Delay / regression in achieved milestones (especially major motors skills).
  • Regression of achieved milestones is more likely with acquired pathology (including inflammatory joint or muscle disease).
  • Impaired functional ability (ask about play, sport, schoolwork, handwriting, ‘dressing’).
  • Marked hypermobility.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Dyspraxia, co-ordination difficulties.
  • Limping (intermittent or persistent).
  • Morning symptoms (other than tiredness after disturbed sleep) suggest inflammatory disease.
  • Widespread pain (such as upper limbs and back).
  • School absenteeism.
  • Indicators of joint or muscle disease (e.g., pain, swelling, stiffness, gelling after rest, weakness or limping).
  • Systemic illness ('red flags').

Consider a referral to neurology / neuromuscular service if there is suspicion of muscle disease or a neurological cause. 

Consider referral to paediatric rheumatology if there is suspicion about joint disease.

Consider referral to general paediatrics, which is often warranted, to exclude other causes of 'clumsiness'. 

Developmental Co-ordination Disorder is a common cause of a child being clumsy and there are often other issues such as dyspraxia, concentration and learning difficulties. These children are also often hypermobile. 

Site Statistics

To date (end of August 2018) pmm has >353,000 hits and >125,400 users from 202 countries!

Why register?

Some parts of pmm which involve pictures or videos of children, can only be viewed by registered users. Registering also allows you to bookmark favourite pages and track your viewing.

find out more

Short online courses

from Newcastle University, UK

e-resources from PMM

pmm for you

Please help us ensure pmm is as useful to you as possible by completing this short survey

complete survey