Parents: Don’t use a baby walker – Harvard Health Blog


In Canada, the sale of child walkers is banned. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) would really like the identical to be true within the US.

Why? As a result of child walkers are harmful. According to a study within the journal Pediatrics, between 1990 and 2014, greater than 230,000 youngsters lower than 15 months of age had been handled in US emergency departments for accidents associated to walkers. Nearly all of accidents occur when youngsters fall down stairs in a walker, normally injuring their head or neck, typically significantly.

However it’s not simply stairs that may be an issue. Kids in walkers can get their fingers caught, pull issues down on themselves, or seize harmful issues (equivalent to sharp objects or sizzling liquids) that might in any other case be out of their attain. Kids can fall out of walkers and get harm — and have drowned after they scooted right into a pool or spa. There have additionally been accidents from toys hooked up to a child walker.

Between 1990 and 2003, child walker accidents decreased by 84.5%, as voluntary security requirements had been instituted, and extra households began to purchase standers that didn’t transfer. In 2010 mandatory federal safety standards took impact. Amongst different issues, the requirements embrace measures to assist forestall walkers from falling down stairs or tipping over, and to make sure that infants inside them are well-supported and might’t get caught inside them. The principles additionally require a parking brake, to maintain the walker extra stationary, and have requirements for the wheels themselves to maintain the walkers safer. Even nonetheless, in 2014 2,000 toddlers had been seen in emergency rooms for accidents attributable to walkers.

So why would mother and father use a child walker?

Some mother and father purchase them as a result of they suppose that walkers assist infants study to stroll quicker. Nevertheless, the alternative is true: utilizing a walker can delay impartial strolling. That’s as a result of studying to stroll isn’t a lot about studying to make use of your legs. It’s extra about studying to tug to face after which stability and take steps with out help. When infants are plopped into walkers, they don’t study any of that. They study it by being placed on the ground with one thing they will pull up on, like a sofa or a caregiver.

The opposite motive is that infants like them and can play fortunately in them. That is completely true. Beginning at round 6 months infants like to be upright — and like to be cellular, in order that they will discover and be within the thick of issues. Nevertheless, there are different and safer methods to get infants upright, equivalent to in stationary standers. As for mobility, the inconvenient reality is that not solely do infants must study mobility by themselves, they want fixed supervision as they do. Walkers may give caregivers a false sense of safety and make them suppose that they don’t must be inside arm’s attain of the newborn — when not solely is that precisely the place they must be, it’s the place infants need them to be.

So simply say no to a child walker. It isn’t well worth the threat.

Observe me on Twitter @drClaire

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