Baby walkers also known as go-cart or baby footer is used as standing or walking aid for children at age of 6-9 months. It is widely used by the parents with the concept of helping tool for kids to walk.
But now a days, as the parents learn and gather information before taking decision for anything for their kids, it is a question whether baby walkers are good or bad for children???
There is a common public belief that baby walkers are beneficial for children for their development but the researchers’ belief does not support it. Many researches and trials have been made which show that baby walkers have some negative impacts on children’s growth and development. It is a natural phenomenon that babies start walking at age of 9-18 months which means their bones and muscles do not support in walking before it. Moreover, a child’s body develops at its specific age and time period. Before that if we give unwanted burden to the children it will cause muscle, bone and joint problems.
Research has shown baby walkers are not safe because 40% children get injured or chances of injuries are very high. Mostly kids face
Head bumps and bruises (when kids fall down stairs or throw items off by pulling them), burns (when kids go to the places which should not be in their access), pinched fingers or toes in electrical socket, drowning from falling into a toilet or pool, suffocation if not present at proper airy area.
It is also concluded from research and trials that baby walkers do not help in development rather they delay the development. It is natural that a baby learns to sit, crawl, stand, and walk as step by step phenomenon. The usage of Baby walkers skip the crawling step and a baby starts taking work from its bones and muscles earlier which definitely delays the development. Evidence showed that chances of abnormalities and deformation is higher in case of baby walker use.
Some researchers have made the conclusion that the findings and data are not enough to declare baby walkers as the prohibited tool for kids. According to them evidence are not enough to claim that the use of baby walkers can disturb the development or disadvantages of walkers on development. So it is obvious that there is a need to notice this issue must by researchers so that parents can find help deciding better choice for their kids, as well as pediatricians, must guide the parents at this cause.
According to an expert’s opinion if parents want to use the baby walker for their kids they must follow some points:
They use baby walkers for kids when they are at age of 9-12 months. At this stage, kids start learning to walk and these walkers help them and support them. At that age their bones and muscles are strong enough to bear the pressure and weight. Parents must limit the time of the use of baby walkers. 10-15 minutes per day enough at early stage.
Parents must supervise their kids while they are standing or walking through baby walkers so the chances of injuries will be zero.
Height of walkers must be according to height of kids so that their feet touch the floor andt heir body remain in a balanced position.