It’s exciting for parents to watch their babies up on their feet but infant walkers with wheels are toys that emergency room doctors and pediatricians have come to hate.
Dr. Gary Smith with Nationwide Children’s Hospital says, “Parents don’t understand how quickly they can move. they can move up to four feet per second in a walker.”
Doctor Smith studied injuries from infant walkers since new safety guidelines were adopted in 2010. Among other things, it strengthened the testing of baby walkers to see if they come to a stop when a wheel goes over a step.
During the study period, the number of injuries dropped dramatically from twenty thousand six hundred fifty in 1990 to two thousand and one in 2014.
Dr. Smith says, “It’s still not enough. we need to eliminate the hazard. We need to make these products unavailable.”
Researchers say some parents think the activity will help a baby strengthen their legs.
Tracy Mehan is a manager at the facility and says, “That has actually been proven to be false. not only does it not help you walk more quickly, but it actually can delay your walking because it’s teaching the child to walk in a different way.”
Instead of infant walkers, researchers suggest an exersaucer with activity center.
Mehan says, “There’s plenty of toys to keep the child entertained. it can spin, but it doesn’t have wheels.”
She cautions parents not to try do-it-yourself walkers, which have been featured on social media sites. also, be wary of hand-me-down infant walkers.
Walkers are banned in Canada. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics called for a similar ban on the manufacture and sale of infant walkers in the U.S.