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This is where we will share our children's health opinion pieces, advice, tips and tricks, resources and so much more. Check back here frequently for the latest baby and child health news and insight from us!

By Sarah Hunstead
Sarah Hunstead
23 Jun, 2020

Baby walkers: helpful or dangerous?

Many parents believe that baby walkers encourage babies to learn to walk faster. This isn’t true at all!

Did you know that not only are baby walkers dangerous from an injury risk perspective, but using a walker can delay independent walking?
Over 100 children visit emergency departments each year from incidents involving baby walkers, mainly due to head or facial injuries caused by falls.
Red the excerpt below from Dr Claire McCarthy on the Harvard Health Publishing blog:

“Some parents buy them because they think that walkers help babies learn to walk faster. However, the opposite is true: using a walker can delay independent walking. That’s because learning to walk isn’t so much about learning to use your legs. It’s more about learning to pull to stand and then balance and take steps without support. When babies are plopped into walkers, they don’t learn any of that. They learn it by being put on the floor with something they can pull up on, like a couch or a caregiver.”

Dr Claire McCarthy MD

Product Safety Australia recommend the following if you do choose to use a baby walker:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Always supervise your child in a baby walker. They should always be in reach of an adult who can prevent them accessing hazardous areas.
  • Ensure the baby walker is only used on flat, even and safe surfaces to avoid falling or tipping over.
  • Block off access to staircases, steps, kitchens and fireplaces to prevent injuries from falls, burns, electrocution, or sharp objects.
  • Do not place any objects on the baby walker that could cause it to tip over.
  • Make sure your baby walker has the safety features required by the mandatory standard – see the video below from Product Safety Australia
  • Do not leave your child in the baby walker for longer than 15 minutes at a time. Overuse can lead to developmental delays when they are learning to walk.
ACCC baby walker safety video

Be aware of the risks of using baby walkers, and consider not using one at all.

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