Thursday, July 27, 2006
The Goods on the Baby Walker
When I was small I used to scoot around the house and even the driveway in my baby walker. So naturally after I had my son I looked into getting one for him and hit a wall. They're BANNED in Canada (where I live). Banned? Why? At first it appeared that too many kids were rolling down stairs in them so the Canadian Government pulled them off the shelves. They have been deemed a hazardous product. I'm confused - a hazardous product? The Health Canada website says that if you have one you must destroy it. Are they that bad?

On my last trip over the border shopping Babies R Us had 3 different models. I was tempted to just buy one then our Occupational Therapist said that they are in fact bad for development. They reduce the opportunity to learn to crawl, gain a sense of balance, stand up on their own and lifts the baby up to a level that they are not prepared to be at. This makes them now able to grab a scalding cup of coffee or hazardous chemicals. 30-40% of infants who use walkers will have an accident. Infants are able to move at speeds of 1 meter/second and not even the most attentive parent can react fast enough to prevent an injury. Could the Canadian Government be onto something? They are the first country to ban the safe importation and advertisement of baby walkers. This also extends to second hand and modified walkers.

With this all being old news why am I posting this now? Most new parents grew up scooting all over the place in their walkers. Their parents probably have pictures of them standing in their walkers so naturally you would want that to be a part of your babies' memories as well. There have been many ideas as to why Canadians were not able to buy them. I personally had no idea the little monkeys could go so fast in them. That alone could take off a toe. Everything else makes sense and I am glad that we went with the exersaucer because I take comfort in knowing that my son will be where I left him when I come back.

Related: Ivillage article
American Academy of Pediatrics article




Isn't that something about baby walkers? My son is 26 years old now and my daughter, almost 25.
There certainly wasn't much in the way of publicity about the dangers of baby walkers back then.
My kids used them, and loved them. Of course I kept a VERY close eye on those children.
My daughter absolutely disliked crawling, and seemingly wanted to go straight from the floor to walking at 9 months of age.
Now a nine month old baby is a top heavy baby, and an accident just waiting to happen. I couldn't well tie her to the floor, so I let her use her walker, which in my opinion, was a great deal safer.
Her pediatrician told me that she HAD to crawl or she'd have motor skill and depth perception deficiencies later in life...so I took away the walker.
In spite of my constant hovering, she STILL managed to fall at age 10 months, hitting a low table. She got her first stitches that night.
I am not saying that all babies should or shouldn't use walkers.
I just happen to believe that in some cases they might be appropriate.
A lot of people have swimming pools and young children, but as far as I know, swimming pools have not been banned.

7/22/2007 02:44:00 pm  

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