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Choosing Safe Baby Products: The Dangers of Walkers
Walkers are devices that use a wheeled frame and suspended seat to allow babies to propel themselves using their feet. There are many reasons to avoid them. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly discourages the use of walkers because of the risk of serious injuries.
Why you should avoid walkers:
- It is estimated that more children are injured in baby walkers than in any other infant product.
- Babies in walkers can fall over objects and can roll into hot stoves, pools, and heaters.
- Most kids younger than 15 months who sustain injuries from infant walkers are injured when falling down stairs.
- Gates at the top of stairs do not prevent falls and even the best adult supervision doesn't guarantee that these falls won't happen.
- Research shows that walkers do not provide any advantage to a child's development. Walkers do not teach infants to walk or enable them to walk sooner than they would without one. Walkers also may deny infants the necessary opportunities for pulling up, creeping, and crawling.
- A stationary activity center is a better choice than an infant walker. It provides many activities to stimulate babies while keeping them safe.
Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: February 2010
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