Why baby walkers are bad for a child’s development
If you’re considering buying Your Child a baby walker, you might want to reconsider. Research shows it’s not good for babies and slows their ability to walk.
Many organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAPA) discourage the use of baby walkers because they may cause accidents and injuries. Here are the reasons
They can be dangerous
Baby walkers can give babies extra speed, height, and access to many hazards, so they may be dangerous. In addition, babies can tip and fall over or even roll down the stairs. Many of the injuries happen when the walker tips and the baby is thrown out and crashes into furniture or falls down the stairs.
They slow down development
On top of that, they’re not even helping Your Child learn to walk. As a matter of fact, walkers may discourage babies from walking by themselves. Researchers found that babies using walkers may learn to walk about a month later than those who don’t. The explanation is this: babies get to walk by observing and understanding how their feet and legs move. But the trays of the walkers block their vision. Also, it can develop unusual movement patterns and delay muscle control because it allows them to walk before their muscles are ready.
What are good alternatives?
- Using push toys: Push toys, like push cars, provide support for babies who aren’t quite ready to walk on their own yet. They help to build the baby’s strength and boost balance.
- Design proper play area: Install rubber mats. Make a safe space for Your Child to explore on the floor. So the little one can learn how to roll, crawl, and sit before walking. Letting Your Child fall on a safe surface and stand up without help, helps the baby to learn better and build up the necessary muscles.
- Take Your Child to playgroup: Babies are easily motivated and can learn from watching others. Seeing other babies stand and walk can encourage Your Child to do the same.
Don’t worry if Your Child learns to walk a little bit slower than other babies. Remember that each baby is different. Your Child can spend the time not walking to learn other things.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (25 April 2019)