American Academy of Pediatrics Continues to Support Baby Walker Ban - MediaSmack

American Academy of Pediatrics Continues to Support Baby Walker Ban

In the 1990’s, an average of 20,000 children were injured each year by child walkers. This high rate of injury led to a decline in popularity to baby walkers, and for the industry to adopt a voluntary safety standard in 1997. this voluntary standard was strengthened to a mandatory standard several years later in 2010. This change in regulation and popularity of baby walkers has led to a sharp decrease of injuries, but 2,000 children a year are still injured by baby walkers. This is why the AAP is voicing its continued support for an outright ban on child walkers, as they create an unneeded risk to a child’s safety and could even negatively impact a child’s development.

Danger of Falling

The greatest threat walkers pose to child safety is the danger of falling. In over 50% of the cases of injuries caused by baby walkers, stairs were involved. Additionally, some walkers have the possibility to break and tip over the child. These dangers have been mitigated with improved safety guidelines and better awareness about the role of baby walkers. However, the AAP does not believe baby walkers should still be bought by parents for their children at all, and recommends an outright ban.

Negative Effects on a Child’s Development

In addition to the falling hazards associated with baby walkers, there are also the dangers of long term use. At first, baby walkers seem like a natural way for children who can’t stand up on their own to learn how to walk. However, because young children bounce on their toes while using baby walkers, they do not develop the correct way of putting their weight on their feet. Another problem is that the child is supported at the waist, which puts weight on the child’s midsection rather than having a natural support from the legs. This can lead to problems with walking, posture and leg support later on in a child’s development. If a child spends too long using a baby walker, they can become dependent on it and it could slow a child from actually learning how to walk.

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Source: RHL Law