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Baby walkers: Are they safe?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/baby-walkers/AN02084
- With Mayo Clinic emeritus consultant
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.read biographyclose window
Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, brings valuable expertise to health information content on primary care pediatrics. He has a particular interest in infectious diseases of children.
He's a Fort Worth, Texas, native, certified as a pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was trained at Washington University's St. Louis Children's Hospital, and in infectious diseases at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1989.
"The World Wide Web is revolutionizing the availability and distribution of information, including health information about children and families," Dr. Hoecker says. "The evolution of the Web has included greater safety, privacy and accuracy over time, making the quality and access to children's health information immediate, practical and useful. I am happy to be a part of this service to patients from a trusted name in medicine, to use and foster all the good the Web has to offer children and their families."
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Baby walkers: Are they safe?
Are baby walkers safe?
from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.
Baby walkers — devices designed to give babies mobility while they're learning to walk — can cause serious injuries.
For example, babies who use baby walkers might:
- Trip and fall over
- Roll down stairs
- Trap a finger
- Be burned, poisoned or otherwise hurt after reaching for a dangerous object
Even new baby walkers — which typically use brakes to prevent falls and are too large to fit through doorways — can still lead to serious injury. Research also suggests that use of baby walkers can actually delay when a baby begins to sit, crawl or walk unassisted, as well as slow a baby's mental and motor development.
Don't allow your baby to use a baby walker and make sure that your baby's other caregivers don't use baby walkers, either. Instead, consider using a stationary activity center, play yard or playpen. These devices will allow your baby to play safely as he or she learns to sit, crawl and stand.Next question
Baby sunscreen: What's recommended?
- Al-Nouri L, et al. Baby walker injuries. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics. 2006;26:67.
- Shields BJ, et al. Success in the prevention of infant walker-related injuries: An analysis of national data, 1990-2001. Pediatrics. 2006;117:e452.
- Shelov SP, et al. Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: Bantam Books; 2009:249.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Injuries associated with infant walkers. Pediatrics. 2001;108:790.
- DiLillo D, et al. Maternal use of baby walkers with young children: Recent trends and possible alternatives. Injury Prevention. 2001;7:223.