Toss Your Baby Walker, Pediatricians Say
Safety is your top concern for your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls baby walkers dangerous and says you should throw them out. According to the AAP, one of the reasons why a baby walker is not safe is because a child is able to move more than three feet in one second.
Walkers can cause children to:
Roll down stairs, causing head injuries and even death. This is the most common way children get hurt in walkers. A child also can get hurt if the walker tips over.
Get burned. Children in a walker may be able to reach a hot beverage on a table or a pot on the stove.
Drown. A child can roll into a pool.
Be poisoned. A child may be able to reach poisonous items you thought were out of reach.
Pinch fingers or toes. A child's tiny digits can get caught between the walker and furniture.
The current manufacturing standard for walkers requires them to have a braking mechanism that kicks in when one or more wheels drop to a lower position, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says. This is supposed to prevent a walker from rolling over the edge of a step. The standard also requires walkers to be wider than 36 inches, to prevent them from fitting through a doorway.
Even so, parents should avoid all mobile walkers. For safety's sake, also make sure there are no baby walkers anywhere your child spends time.
- Kidd, India, RN, BSN, MBA
- newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician