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Early years

17th Sep 2018

‘There are safer alternatives’: Parents warned about dangers of baby walkers

Thousands of infants have been injured due to walkers.

Anna O'Rourke

baby names

They’re a common item that lots of families have – but parents are now being warned not to put their small babies in baby walkers.

A study has shown that over 230,000 infants in the US were injured in accidents involving baby walkers over a 24-year period.

The babies included in the research were all under 15 months of age and were treated at accident and emergency departments between 1990 and 2014.

Parents should be aware of the risks they pose, study author Dr Gary Smith of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital told CBS.

“Baby walkers give quick mobility — up to four feet per second — to young children before they are developmentally ready.

“Children at this age are curious, but do not recognise danger.

'There are safer alternatives': Parents warned about the dangers of baby walkers

“I have commonly heard the words from parents who brought their child to the emergency department after an injury in a baby walker, ‘Doctor, I was standing right there, but she moved so fast that I did not have time to stop her.’

“These are good parents, who were carefully supervising their children and using the baby walker as intended,” he said.

“Their only error was that they believed the myth that baby walkers are safe to use.”

He recommended that parents put their babies in stationary toys like bouncers or opt for tummy time instead.

The dangers of walkers have become better understood in the past few years – in 2010 the European Child Safety Alliance said that infants in baby walkers are at a higher risk of head injury, falls, burns, scalds and poisonings.