Walkers are devices that use a wheeled frame and suspended seat
to allow babies to propel themselves using their feet. There are
lots of reasons to avoid them. The American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) strongly discourages the use of walkers because of the risk
of serious injuries.
Why you should avoid walkers:
- Nearly 15,000 injuries are treated in emergency rooms every
year as a result of walkers. More than 35 children have died
since 1973 because of baby walkers.
- Babies in walkers can fall over objects and can roll into hot
stoves, pools, and heaters; the most severe injuries occur when
infants roll down stairs in their walkers and strike their heads
at the bottom.
- Gates at the top of stairs do not prevent falls and even the
best adult supervision doesn't guarantee that these falls
- Research shows that walkers do not provide any advantage
to a child's development. Walkers do not teach infants to
walk or enable them to walk sooner than they would without one.
Walkers may also deny infants the necessary opportunities for
pulling up, creeping, and crawling.
Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: November 2007
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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