Baby walkers may pose potential safety hazards

Learn more about baby walkers, stationary walkers and what you can do to protect your child should you choose to use one.

November 26, 2012 - Author: Angela Harris,

Updated from an original article written by

As your child becomes more interested in her world, you might find that she enjoys sitting up so she can have a better view of her world. In addition to keeping their baby happy, some parents feel that using a walker will help their baby begin walking. However, baby walkers do not encourage walking and are actually quite dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of baby walkers for a number of reasons.

While walkers strengthen muscles in the lower legs, they do not encourage strength in the upper legs and hips. These muscles aren’t used as often and need to be exercised. Walkers may also discourage walking because they enable the baby to get around so easily.

Even though they are convenient, walkers tend to tip over easily as the baby begins to move more; they have contributed to a significant number of injuries, most of which are caused by falls down a staircase. Head trauma, including skull fractures, can damage the developing brain. Other injuries include broken bones, cuts and bruises.

As a way to avoid potential threats, many parents use an alternative product known as a stationary walker. Stationary walkers are great alternative to traditional walkers and provide your baby with a different view of the world, just be cautious that they are not overused because they, too, can pose potential hazards. To avoid them, make sure it is adjusted so your baby can support his weight on flat feet. Sitting independently is a combination of balance, muscle strength and control – too much time in a stationary walker does not develop these skills.

Tags: early childhood development, family, msu extension, physical development and health

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