The most prevalent symptoms of muscular dystrophy in children include difficulty getting up from a seated position, difficulty getting up from a lying position, a waddling gait, enlarged calf muscles and learning disabilities, states Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms can include frequent falls, difficulty with jumps, difficulty running, walking on the toes and muscle pain. These symptoms can vary depending on the particular type of muscular dystrophy a child has.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type of muscular dystrophy and constitutes about half of the cases of muscular dystrophy, explains Mayo Clinic. It is a genetic disease that begins at around 2 to 3 years old and primarily affects boys. As muscular dystrophy progresses, symptoms can worsen and cause an inability to walk, breathing problems, shortened muscles and swallowing problems.
Other types of childhood muscular dystrophy include the facioscapulohumeral, congenital and limb-girdle varieties of the disease, notes Mayo Clinic. Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy causes weakness in the face and shoulders, and can cause the shoulder blades to jut out when a child raises his or her arms. Congenital muscular dystrophy occurs in both boys and girls and is usually evident before the age of two. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy often causes the front of the foot to drag while walking, which causes frequent tripping.