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

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Little one & Teen Well being
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, generally severely.
However it’s not simply stairs that may be an issue. Youngsters in walkers can get their fingers caught, pull issues down on themselves, or seize harmful issues (resembling sharp objects or scorching liquids) that might in any other case be out of their attain. Youngsters can fall out of walkers and get damage — 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 embody measures to assist stop 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 foundations 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 as a consequence of walkers.
Some mother and father purchase them as a result of they assume that walkers assist infants be taught to stroll quicker. Nonetheless, the other is true: utilizing a walker can delay unbiased 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 drag to face after which stability and take steps with out assist. When infants are plopped into walkers, they don’t be taught any of that. They be taught it by being placed on the ground with one thing they will pull up on, like a sofa or a caregiver.
The opposite cause 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 cell, in order that they will discover and be within the thick of issues. Nonetheless, there are different and safer methods to get infants upright, resembling in stationary standers. As for mobility, the inconvenient reality is that not solely do infants must be taught mobility by themselves, they want fixed supervision as they do. Walkers can provide caregivers a false sense of safety and make them assume that they don’t must be inside arm’s attain of the child — 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 definitely worth the danger.
Observe me on Twitter @drClaire
Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior School Editor, Harvard Well being Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Well being Publishing gives entry to our library of archived content material. Please observe the date of final assessment or replace on all articles.
No content material on this web site, no matter date, ought to ever be used as an alternative to direct medical recommendation out of your physician or different certified clinician.
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Little one & Teen Well being
Little one & Teen Well being
Little one & Teen Well being
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