There are note-worthy controversies about baby walkers. Some people claim developmental benefits from using the devices for their babies. Saying baby walkers help their children walk early. However, pediatricians around the world including American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) want to ban these infant devices. Why?

When an infant gets active and seems ready to learn how to walk, the initial reaction of most parents is to buy a baby walker. This is because the equipment is popular in helping babies walk early. It gives them mobility with a seat that holds them upright and wheels that lets them easily move from one place to another.

But pediatricians disagree about baby walkers being able to help infants walk. Studies found that using the equipment does not have significant impact on babies learning to walk. In fact, it delays the onset of walking for by 11 to 26 days. Furthermore, babies who used the devices have lower locomotive development test scores than children who did not.

Baby walkers can hinder babies’ ability to walk. The devices can negatively affect the development of posture and normal gait patterns of infants. This is because walkers encourage babies to scoot their toes on the floor instead of standing up and taking little steps one at a time. Scooting strengthens the lower leg muscles but not the upper leg and hip muscles which are important in walking.

Many parents rely on baby walkers to keep their children entertained while they do household chores or simply rest on a coach. Parenting can be very tiring physically that sometimes all a parent want is to be hands-free from carrying their infant. However, does this convenience outweigh the danger of using the equipment?

The very reason why doctors call for a ban on baby walkers are the dangers they continue to cause to infants. There are alarming statistics of accidents and injuries related to the devices. In 1984, there were 24,000 injured babies due to baby walkers. The scenario hasn’t changed in 1991 in which 29,000 babies had fractures, dislocations, concussion, and other injuries from the said devices. In 1993, hospitals’ emergency rooms received 25,000 injured infants from using the equipment. 

Walkers give babies much more mobility than they need. The equipment allows them to roam around and go to dangerous spots in the house. For instance, doorways, stairs, and pools. Countless babies rushed to hospitals with head fractures due to falling down the stairs as a result of using baby walkers. There are also incidents of drowning because infants fell into pools while playing outdoors on walkers. Furthermore, the devices enable babies to reach objects that can cause mishaps. Such as tablecloths, electric wires or outlets, hazardous liquids, or sharp objects.

The equipment’s standard has been revised many times but it hasn’t stopped them causing injuries to babies. This is because infant walkers have wheels that allows little ones to move quicker than adults. In addition, the equipment doesn’t have automatic break to prevent babies from falling down stairs or into pools.

Fortunately, there are good and safe alternatives to baby walkers. This includes stationary activity centers which are similar to conventional baby walkers but don’t have wheels. The devices have rotational and bouncing seat instead allowing babies to move around and practice his/her motor skills. Playpens are also good options to help babies walk. Playpens allow them to crawl, sit, pull-up, and practice walking in a safe enclosed area.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is a loving mother of two. She writes for https://electrickettlesplus.com, an appliance website that offers wide selection of electric kettles. Including this variable temperature kettle which is safe to use for making baby food.