Baby Walkers; Good or Bad for Children?

By: Chris Oregon; U0914169

My parents had a baby walker for me when I was younger. They, just like any other parent, thought that it would help me learn how to walk. I’m not sure how much research was done back then but if they would have known that they did more harm than good they would have never gotten me one. Studies have shown that walkers typically delays motor development and it delays their mental development even more. Apparently in 1994, when walkers were really popular among US parents, the Consumer Products Safety Commission stated that baby walkers had caused more injuries to children than any other child’s product. Canada actually banned walkers in 2004 because of this and anyone found using one can lead to a fine worth up to $100,000 or six months in jail.

Most babies begin to walk anywhere between the age of 9-12 months but that age varies. Babies that use walkers learn to crawl, stand and walk later than those who do not use walkers. These delayed learners continue to show a delay in motor development.

The biggest delays caused by walkers, which is surprising to most if not all parents, is the delay in mental development. This delay causes for the babies to get lower scores on mental development testing.

After doing all this research I know for a fact that I will never use a baby walker with my future children. The cons heavily outweigh the pros in this situation. The two main reasons I would never use a walker is because 1) a walker can lead to several injuries whether it be minor or big and 2) I do not want my child to have a delayed development in anything.

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Baby Walkers; Good or Bad for Children?

  1. U1000030 Irene Kim
    It is interesting to know that baby walkers can do such harm for infants.
    I always thought that these tools for kids were made to help a child’s development but I guess that is not true in some cases. I also had to use a baby walker as a baby, just because my parents believed that it would help me walk faster. Also, its surprising to know that these walkers are banned in Canada! I still some families using these walkers I should recommend them to see these kinds of studies for the safety and well being of their children. Although I understand the reasons why this may be bad for your kid, I wish you could elaborate a bit more about why this also leads to a delay in mental development. I don’t quite understand the connection between the two.

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  2. Shantavia Mackey U1064003 As a mom-to-be I have spent a lot of time on mommy blogs and every site talks about the dangers of using walkers. It’s kind of crazy to think that people are still trying to warn parents about the side effects of baby walkers when they were proven to be bad back in the 90’s! I agree with you that the most surprising fact about the baby walkers was that it stunted mental development. I had read a lot about how it negatively affected motor development but up until your blog I hadn’t known about the impact baby walkers could have on an infant’s mental development. I had already decided not to use a baby walker and after reading this I am certain I made the right decision. The biggest question to ask now is, why can you still purchase baby walkers in the US, especially if Canada has them banned?

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  3. Treasure Lundskog u0795077

    Who would have thought that such a popular item for young children could do so much harm! It is sad to think of all the problems this has caused and the ways in which it has changed children’s lives for the worse instead of the better. It is surprising that it was banned in Canada in 2004, yet there are still several parents in the United States that use these for their children. It is important that parents be made aware of the damage this could do to their children. It really surprises me that something like this can still be sold. I’m glad you’ve brought this information to my attention.

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  4. Austin Nguyen u0886358

    It’s both fascinating and horrifying to wonder what other products could be causing as much harm as baby walkers. All while no one notices. Another thing that stands out is why hasn’t the US taken such precautions against baby walkers with the overwhelming amount of research to back it up. But even if it did, would the punishment be as severe? I also didn’t know about the connection to the delay in mental development, and would really like to know what specific areas it effects.

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  5. Brooke Cherry
    U0740470

    I was very surprised to hear this product was banned in Canada. I have always thought these walkers were to help guide and improve a child’s development. Knowing that there are so many cons and less pros I am not inclined to use this product for any future kids of mine. I do not want my child delayed in motor nor mental development. It is kind of common sense as to the delay in motor development but i would be interested in more details of the mental delays.

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  6. Sarah Riley 1129762
    Wow! I had no idea walkers were so bad for children. I was most surprised by walkers causing mental development delays. The more I think about this though, it does make sense. I would think a big reason for this could be the fsct they are stuck in a walker and are not figuring our how to walk, crawl, pull up on things to stand themselves. They are not moving around on their own exploring and learning. I also found it interesting how many injuries they caused. I bet many parents think walkers are safe to put a baby in away from any potential hazards in the house, slso requiring less supervision from their care taker. I would be curious to see what physical effects this could have on children.

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  7. Nicole McRae
    u0171938

    Ok, I will admit I tried a walker with my son. He hated it. The only reason I even tried was because I had a big empty warehouse I was working in- no stairs or falling hazards. I thought he would like to cruise around in it while I worked (couldn’t afford a sitter) I tried for literally one day. He was not having it. He acted like it was hard on his legs- like it was forcing him to use them more than he had the strength to. If i ever broke it out again I did so with the wheels removed to use like a high chair for feeding- but again he hated that.
    -Also I have a memory of my sister tumbling down the stairs in a walker at my grandma’s house (this was in 1987.) So yeah it’s a good thing we figured out those walkers are no bueno.

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  8. Christian Fehr u0815777

    Wow this was really interesting and somewhat alarming. Baby walkers seem widely accepted, especially here in America, but the delays in development that it can cause for babies and infants is troubling. Knowing this I definitely would keep my child out of a walker for both of the reasons that you stated above. Products are becoming more and more conscientious about the development of the babies, but this doesn’t seem like it has always been the case. What other accepted toys or tools for babies are having negative effects on development?

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  9. Nikolajs Pecholcs u0827629

    When I was an infant I frequently spent time in a walker, and later in life when I asked my parents about my infancy they said that you certainly took your time with learning certain things. Well at least now I know that it might not have been my fault for some of those. I find it really interesting how people create things such as the walker with the idea of aiding in an infants development only to find out later down the road that it is harming. Only after we have done studies that show the damage that something can cause do we take a step back, and actually think about why that is. The question that is ringing in my head would have to be how a walker would affect an infants depth perception in relativity to those studies on crawling vs. walking down a step, or drop off.

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