Are Baby Walkers Safe?
Are baby walkers fun for your baby? Definitely. Are they safe? Not really.
Most infants are injured due to falling out of a walker rather than falling down the stairs, although that is a danger as well. A baby in a walker is also able to reach some things that you would prefer to stay out of your baby’s reach. This could be something sharp, a flame or chemicals.
The increasing number of injuries from baby walkers led the government of Canada to discuss whether these products could be advertised or not. Although they were unable to succeed in it, the American government attempted the same thing, which caused an argument between the government and American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, the Consumer Products Safety Commission has provided new standards about the usage of these walkers in an effort to decrease the number of injuries.
These walkers are fun and keep infants entertained, but safety must be taken into consideration. Here are some things to think about if you are thinking of using a baby walker.
- Every year, more than 14,000 infants who are under 15 months have to go to the emergency room due to an injury while using a walker.
- Since 1973, 34 children have died from using baby walkers.
- Even with the new standards that have been developed, children still are likely to be injured from walkers.
There are newer walkers that are safer than the older styles. These walkers come with some safety features, such as being unable to fit through a regular doorway or a gripping mechanism that stops the walker at the beginning of a stair. Here are some tips that are suggested by Consumer Product Safety:
- Close the door or gate at the top of the stairs if you have one. If not, get one as soon as possible.
- Always keep your children within your reach.
- Keep your children away from hot areas, such as a stove.
- Also keep them away from pools, toilets and other sources of water.
Since most injuries are related to falling down the stairs, don’t let your infants use the walkers anywhere near the stairs.
Hopefully, you can now make an informed decision about whether or not to buy a walker for your baby.