Doctors Want You to Remove This Piece of Baby Gear from Your Home
While still sold in many stores, doctors say this item is not safe for babies.
Babies come with a lot of stuff and it doesn’t take long before your house is overrun with baby clothes, toys and gear. However, doctors are urging parents to get rid of one popular baby item that may be taking up residence in your home — the baby walker.
While seeing your little one power up their chunky little legs and feet so they can skid across the floor in their walker can be super adorable, a lot of children are being seriously injured by it.
According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 2,000 children are injured each year in walker related incidents. Even with parental supervision, the AAP said that injuries can happen quickly because a baby can slide across the floor and out of their caregiver’s reach in a matter of seconds. So, before you even have time to react, your baby is too far away for you to make sure they are not injured.
What’s really scary is that the injuries reported aren’t just stubbed toes or pinched fingers. The study notes that 90 percent of children sustained injuries to their head and neck. From flipping over in the walker and falling down stairs, to falling into pools or tubs, playtime can quickly turn dangerous.
For many parents, walkers are a must-have item on their baby registry because they believe it can help their baby build-up muscles that will help them walk. However, the AAP debunked this myth, saying, “Walkers do not help a child learn to walk… they can delay normal motor and mental development.”
What can be confusing for parents is that walkers are still being sold in stores and online. If a walker can lead to serious injuries and even delay your baby’s development, how are they still on the marker? Well, one lawmaker is hoping to change this.
New Jersey Senator Linda Greenstein has created a bill that would allow police to fine anyone up to $10,000 for selling walkers in the state. Greenstein’s bill has been approved by the state Senate Law and Public Safety Committee by a 4-1 vote.
“Some people might look at a very cute, very brightly-colored baby walker and say, ‘This couldn't be dangerous. This is a baby toy,’” Greenstein said in an interview. “It really is used by some parents as a form of babysitting. And that's the problem.”
Canada has already banned the sale of walkers and the AAP has seen a decrease in injuries here in America over the past decade. However, with so many alternatives to keep your baby entertained, parents should find different baby gear options to keep in their homes.