The Potential Dangers of Baby Walkers

Dangers of Baby Walkers

"What are the dangers of baby walkers?" is a question often raised by caring parents.

Now, a walker is highly popular and allows children who cannot walk yet, a fantastic mobility option.

Contrary to the sit-in type walkers, here is an example of a 'push' type baby walker that really helps to get your baby walking

Keep in mind we're talking about the sit-in type walkers, not the push type as shown in the adjacent picture.
 


It is said that over three million baby walkers are sold in the United States itself each year, which is a clear sign of the toy's rising demand. All the same, it does come with its vices.

Baby walkers have often been criticized as begin a potentially dangerous toy. Lately, parents find themselves torn between its advantages and its dangers. But let's just look at...

The Potential Dangers of Baby Walkers

  1. Physical Injury - Statistics show that over 40 % of children who use baby walkers end up getting hurt. The reality is that 96% of baby walker injuries are caused when falling from stairs.

    Canada has decided to ban the sale of baby walkers starting April 2007. They feel that giving a child a baby walker is like giving a teenager a Ferrari.

    Indeed one of the biggest dangers of baby walkers is the risk of injury that the child is exposed to.

    There are many baby walker injuries that lead to the emergency room, not to mention the several 'kiss and make ok' ones that the children suffer at home. Despite adult supervision, these accidents do occur, since the wheels of the walker move at a speed much higher than humans can react.

  2. Delays motor skill development - Contrary to common belief, baby walkers actually slow down the process of independent walking. Since the child can get from point A to B, by skidding on the wheels of the walker, they seem to avoid trying to commute independently.

    Several scientific studies confirmed that babies with walkers learn to walk later than those who were not exposed to the toy. In fact, prolonged usage of the toy causes soreness to the child's leg muscles and strains them beyond need. For more information about walkers delaying learning to walk, click here.

  3. Biomechanical and postural dangers - Baby walkers interfere with the natural stance of the child... and the development thereof.

    This can cause severe postural problems to the baby who spends large amounts of time in the walker. In fact, doctors recommend that trying to rush your baby's natural development may cause damage to the child and therefore advise against baby walkers.

  4. Neurological dangers - The right brain controls the left limb movement and the left brain, the right side of the body. Crawling keeps the brain going and encourages this cross-crawl pattern and is therefore an essential activity.

    Baby walkers hinder or in severe cases, prevent the child from crawling and keep the kid in an upright stance, which interferes with the natural neurological development of the child.

For another opinion about the dangers of baby walkers, click here.

It is obvious that there are quite a few baby walker dangers.

While some of them are physical, others have neurological consequences too.

Despite manufacturers of baby walkers claiming that the contraption has been made safer than before, it is estimated that over 14,000 babies are sent to the emergency room each year. More than 34 children have lost their lives to baby walker accidents between 1973 and 1998.


Although the statistics are against the sit-in type baby walker, there is a place for this toy, as long as:

  1. it is used under constant supervision

  2. used on a level floor

  3. not near stairs, and...

  4. your baby doesn't spend most of her day in the walker