Think Twice About Baby Walkers (walker_976)

Health & Safety

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Think Twice About Baby Walkers

Health & Safety

Baby walkers have had so many safety problems some officials think they should be banned. Experts believe that up to 40 percent of babies using walkers will be hurt by them. Babies in walkers have fallen down stairs and been badly hurt or killed--even with safety gates on the stairs.

Some babies have lost fingers when the walkers folded up. Other babies have choked in some models when the strap buckle slipped and allowed them to slide down.

There are other safety concerns with walkers, too. Babies in walkers can move three feet per second--faster than parents can react. And, babies are up higher so they can reach things, like cleaners or other poisons, parents may not have put away yet. Some research also suggests that babies placed in walkers longer than two hours per day may begin to sit, and to walk later than normal.

A much safer alternative to standard baby walkers is the stationary activity center, with no wheels at all, so the baby can rotate, but stay in a fixed position.

Source: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension NuFacts

This resource was updated April 2008.

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