About 50% of all children of age 5 - 15 months uses a baby walker. The most parents believe that the walker helps their child to learn how to walk faster. They also want to give the baby the extra mobility that they get through the walker. Many parents also say they want to make sure that their baby is secure, and they are supposed to be securer with a walker than without.
Now, the facts about baby walkers is quite different from what the parents think. There exist several studies showing that children using baby walkers learn how to walk later than children without. The babies with walkers also get weaker hips which could be a problem.
How does is it with the security? Every year more than 10,000 children come to the hospitals emergency rooms because of injuries related to baby walkers. The most common injury is a head injury.
You have to consider, that a child on a walker is much faster than without it. Therefore they also reach dangerous areas considerably faster than before. This leads to injuries like burning, falling down stairs, falling into swimming pools and so on.
In the U.S. the pediatrics have tried to get the baby walkers forbidden from the government, without success. In Canada they have succeeded. There you are not allowed to sell, advertise or import baby walkers. The reason is that they consider the baby walker to be too much of a danger for the child.
If you decide to buy a baby walker, make sure it's as secure as possible. Do not ever leave your child without supervision when using a baby walker!
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