Many parents believe baby walkers offer their children entertainment, promote walking, and provide a safe baby activity while parents are busy doing something else. However, none of these assumptions are true. Baby walkers provide no substantial benefit to children, can actually delay walking, and pose significant injury risk.
Baby walkers give quick mobility (up to 4 feet per second) to young children before they are developmentally ready. Despite the decrease in baby walker-related injuries over the years, there are still too many serious injuries occurring related to this product.
Baby walkers remain a serious and preventable source of injury to young children and should not be used. Parents should not buy a baby walker for their child, and if they have one, they should remove the wheels and dispose of it.
Baby Walker Injury Facts:
- Most injuries (91%) are to the head or neck, and about 30% of the injuries are concussions/closed head injuries or skull fractures.
- The three leading causes of injuries are falls down stairs, falls out of the baby walker, and injuries that occur because the baby walker gives the child access to something they wouldn’t normally be able to reach (mostly burns from hot objects).
- A previous study we conducted on baby walker-related injuries treated in the emergency department of Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that about one out of every ten injuries was a skull fracture.
- The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported that there have been child deaths associated with baby walkers.
There are safer alternatives that young children enjoy:
- Stationary activity centers (that spin, rock, and bounce, but do not have wheels that give young children dangerous mobility)
- Tummy time (where a child is placed on their belly on the floor and allowed to learn to gradually push themselves up, then crawl, and eventually walk)
Because of the lack of benefits and the serious injuries that result from use of baby walkers, we support the American Academy of Pediatrics’ call for a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of baby walkers in the US. Canada banned the manufacture, sale, and importation of baby walkers in 2004.
Additional Baby Walker Resources
Infant Walker-Related Injuries in the United States