Pediatricians Push to Ban Baby Walkers and the OFY Team Agrees
Are you expecting a baby? Are you in the process of making your baby registry? Did you by chance put a walker on there? Well...take it off. A study, published in the journal Pediatrics, "found between 1990 and 2014, more than 230,000 children under the age of 15 months were treated in the emergency room for injuries in the U.S. linked to walkers, an average of more than 9,000 a year." Most of these accidents were head and neck injuries.
In addition to walkers being dangerous, they also hinder motor development. Walkers tend to promote toe-walking due to the child not being able to reach the floor, they also separate the baby's body in half, thereby decreasing the child's spatial awareness. Walkers also decrease babies' balance and can cause misaligned bones due to the unnatural movement of the body while in the walker. Walkers also decrease babies' problem solving skills and ability to freely explore their environment.
The U.S. is not the first country to look at the dangers of baby walkers. In 2004, Canada made the selling, reselling, advertising, and purchasing baby walkers illegal. If found smuggling a walker or using one, it is punishable by a fine of $100,00 or 6 months in jail! Canada is the first country to have a law of this kind. The OFY team hopes that the U.S. will follow in Canada's wise footsteps.
Instead of using a walker to expedite the walking process, why not put baby on the floor and let them navigate their environment with you by their side. Use the Our First Year toys in the backpack to encourage crawling and soon enough, your baby will be cruising around the furniture (watch those corners on the coffee tables though). Remember, each child is on their own timeline. Some babies are walking at 9 months, whereas others are just learning to crawl. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, the average age for walking is between 14 and 15 months old. Engage in purposeful play with your baby and watch as they meet their developmental milestones.
Playing with a purpose...it's all in the bag!