"Are walkers dangerous for my baby?"
Are walkers more harmful than helpful?
Infant walkers used to be very popular years ago, and still continue to enjoy widespread popularity to this day. But recently, more and more doctors and parenting experts have spoken up about the dangers of using walkers. One theAsianparent Community user asked the community about the safety issues of using a walker:
Here’s what the theAsianparent Community community had to say:
Using a walker could hinder walking abilities
“Saucers, jumpers, walkers, etc. do nothing to enhance development, and can actually delay the achievement of milestones by several weeks,” wrote an anonymous user.
Doctors have actually found that baby walkers don’t help with the process of learning to walk. In fact, baby walkers could eliminate your child’s desire to learn how to walk.
Prolonged use of a walker could also negatively affect your baby’s muscle development. When using a walker, your baby’s hips and knees are bent, and your baby would be walking on his/her toes more. This could form habits that would be difficult to correct in the future.
Walkers put your child into danger
A few parents on theAsianparent Community advocated using walkers sparingly, and keeping a close eye on the baby. However, plenty of walker-related accidents happen under the supervision of a parent or caregiver—babies on walkers can move 3 feet in 1 second!
Your baby could fall down the stairs, get burned by reaching for hot objects, drown by falling into a body of water, and so forth.
“We used to have a walker but our paediatrician told us the danger of them falling down the stairs, or pulling things off the table and hurting themselves,” wrote Kong M. “So our walker is kept in the store room forever.”
Instead of using a walker, opt for:
- a stationary activity center, which look like walkers but have no wheels
- play yards or playpens, which are great safety zones for children who are learning how to sit, crawl, or walk
- high chairs, which are ideal for older children who can sit up and play with toys on the tray.
However, you should avoid letting your child spend too much time on any of the above three alternatives. Studies have shown that babies who spend too much time in play stations learn to crawl and walk at a slower pace than babies who are allowed to roam free.
Supervise your baby closely as she learns to walk around your house, practicing being on all fours, pulling herself up to a standing position, and so forth. She’ll be walking in no time.
(Lead photo: ladyns31 on Youtube)