Walker Danger

Last Friday, Mom and MIL *ambushed* me and asked what was the reason we didn’t put Ethan in a walker. A couple of months back, Pete clearly told his Mom (my MIL) to NOT buy a walker for Ethan. Anything can buy, except a walker.

Why do we insist on NOT placing Ethan in a walker?

There are several reasons, and they are best summarized in an excerpt from my Baby Weekly email:

When my son was a baby, walkers were thought to be a great way to help infants learn to walk. Since then, we have learned that walkers are actually detrimental to normal development. Because a baby in a walker can get around easily, their urge to move across the floor is satisfied, so many aren’t motivated to learn how to crawl or walk on their own. Walkers also strengthen the wrong muscles: the lower legs are used almost exclusively, while the upper legs and hips - used most when walking - remain relatively weak.

In addition, children in walkers have more accidents. Approximately 25,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States each year for skull fractures, concussions and other injuries related to baby walkers. Most baby walker accidents (about 96 percent) involve children falling down stairs. In 69 percent of the cases, an adult was with the child at the time of the accident.

In response to these accidents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and baby walker manufacturers have developed new safety standards. In order to meet the new standards and be certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a walker must be too wide to fit through a standard doorway and have a gripping mechanism to stop the walker if one wheel goes over a step. Instead of a traditional baby walker, try a modified version that has no wheels. These allow the baby to swivel, but are stationary.

Ethan is now *learning* to walk.. just cruising and standing unsupported…but not YET walking on his own. So at this point in time, it is inevitable that people would surely ask:

“How old ah, your baby? Can walk already ah?”

When SOME babies cannot yet walk when others the same age can, the question of why walkers are not used will arise. Well, now you know… but if you still have doubts, just do google up “baby walker danger”.

 

January 2007
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