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Babinski reflex

Babinski reflex is one of the normal reflexes in infants. Reflexes are responses that occur when the body receives a certain stimulus.

The Babinski reflex occurs after the sole of the foot has been firmly stroked. The big toe then moves upward or toward the top surface of the foot. The other toes fan out.

This reflex is normal in children up to 2 years old. It disappears as the child gets older. It may disappear as early as 12 months.


When the Babinski reflex is present in a child older than 2 years or in an adult, it is often a sign of a brain or nervous system disorder. Disorders may include:

Alternative Names

Reflex - Babinski; Extensor plantar reflex; Babinski sign


Griggs RC, Jozefowicz RF, Aminoff MJ. Approach to the patient with neurologic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 396.

Lehman RK, Schor NF. Neurologic evaluation. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 590.

Update Date 2/3/2015

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