Stop buying baby walkers, doctors warn

Stop buying baby walkers, doctors warn

Stop buying baby walkers, doctors warn

The study found that, between 1990 and 2014, more than 230,000 kids younger than 15 months ended up in ERs after using a walker. "Children at this age are curious but do not recognize danger", Dr. Gary Smith, the study's senior author and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, told CBS News.

While some parents may think infant walkers are a way to give young children more independence, pediatricians are once again warning the public that they are a safety hazard.

Rose, who was not involved with the study, says she has seen a slight drop in the number of babies coming into the hospital after being injured in infant walkers. "It only takes a young sibling to leave the door to the basement stairs open briefly for an injury to occur".

Children can zip around in these walkers, Ryan said.

In fact, Smith said, "a previous study we conducted on baby walker-related injuries treated in the emergency department of Nationwide Children's Hospital found that about one out of every ten injuries was a skull fracture".

The walkers can allow babies to toddle into areas they ordinarily could not reach - stairways, pools, bathtubs and kitchens. In fact, the number of injuries related to baby walkers dropped dramatically from almost 21,000 in 1990 to 3,200 in 2003, the study notes. "It's interesting, Canada banned infant walkers in 2004".

The CPSC, an independent government safety agency comprised of five presidential appointees, notes that the study shows that injuries have decreased significantly since the 2010 regulation. These standards made it easier for the CPSC to stop noncomplying imported walkers from entering the marketplace. "Therefore, we support the position of the American Academy of Pediatrics that baby walkers should not be sold or used".

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The new study "set out to look at injury trends after the standards went into place", says the excerpt.

"Despite the decline in injuries, infant walkers remain an important and preventable source of injury among young children", researchers wrote.

Most of the children - 90.6 percent - suffered head or neck injuries, according to the study. Almost three-quarters were hurt after falling down the stairs. "Many families still use baby walkers, despite being aware of their potential dangers", he said.

It suggests parents throw away walkers in their homes and entertain their children in stationary activity centers and other activities. He added that these products do not promote walking. But studies have shown that they might slow motor development, Rose says. "These are good parents who were carefully supervising their children and using the baby walker as intended".

Though the majority of walker-related injuries are stair-related, walkers also can be hazardous because they give infants easy access to unsafe things "that they might not otherwise be able to reach", researchers wrote in the study.

Dr. Peter Richel, chief of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said he wasn't surprised by the findings. "It's because these kids aren't able to move around on their own yet", she said, "they don't have the judgement to say, 'Oh I shouldn't be getting into that, I shouldn't get close to the stairs'".

He recommends parents not buy a baby walker for their child, and if they have one they should remove the wheels and dispose of it.

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