Baby walker

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A baby in a baby walker, 1905
Jesus in a baby walker, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, c. 1440

A baby walker is a device that can be used by infants who cannot walk on their own to move from one place to another. Modern baby walkers have a base made of hard plastic sitting on top of wheels and a suspended fabric seat with two leg holes. A baby walker often has toys attached to the top to entertain the baby. It is designed for a child between 4 and 16 months of age.

Baby walkers were known as early as the 1440s in Europe. An illumination in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a Dutch manuscript from that time, depicts the infant Jesus in a wooden baby walker.[1]

Safety issues[edit]

Many parents believe that such walkers teach a child to walk faster; however, studies suggest that it is not true, and they may actually delay walking by two to three weeks.[2] These devices have also led to many injuries.[3][4][5][6] In fact, CPSC, American Academy of Pediatrics[7] and other organizations [8] have issued warnings to discourage parents from using baby walkers.

In Canada, the sale of baby walkers was banned on April 7, 2004.[9][10][11] Canada is the first country in the world to ban the sale, importation and advertisement of baby walkers. This ban extends to modified and second hand baby walkers, including those sold at a yard sales or flea markets.[9] The Consumers Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) changed the items that were allowed to be sold at such sales.[12] Owners of baby walkers may be fined up to $100,000 or sentenced to up to six months in jail.[13]

Parent-assisted baby walkers[edit]

Parent-assisted baby walkers were developed as an alternative to traditional baby walkers. These types of baby walkers differ greatly from traditional baby walkers as they require full parent assistance while in use. The design of modern parent-assisted baby walkers is similar to leading strings in that the child is suspended upright while learning to walk. Parent-assisted baby walkers offer a safer method for teaching a child to walk over traditional baby walkers that can be unattended while in use.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lamar, Cyriaque (23 October 2012). "Behold, the divine baby walker of Jesus Christ". io9. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Burrows P, Griffiths P (November 2002). "Do baby walkers delay onset of walking in young children?". Br J Community Nurs 7 (11): 581–6. doi:10.12968/bjcn.2002.7.11.10889. PMID 12447120. 
  3. ^ Fazen LE, Felizberto PI (July 1982). "Baby walker injuries". Pediatrics 70 (1): 106–9. PMID 7088607. 
  4. ^ Kavanagh CA, Banco L (March 1982). "The infant walker. A previously unrecognized health hazard". Am. J. Dis. Child. 136 (3): 205–6. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970390019005. PMID 7064944. 
  5. ^ Al-Nouri L, Al-Isami S (March 2006). "Baby walker injuries". Ann Trop Paediatr 26 (1): 67–71. doi:10.1179/146532806X90637. PMID 16494707. 
  6. ^ Emanuelson I (September 2003). "How safe are childcare products, toys and playground equipment? A Swedish analysis of mild brain injuries at home and during leisure time 1998-1999". Inj Control Saf Promot 10 (3): 139–44. doi:10.1076/icsp.10.3.139.14553. PMID 12861912. 
  7. ^ American Academy of Pediatrics. "Injuries Associated With Infant Walkers" (web reprint). Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  8. ^ Kids In Danger
  9. ^ a b "Baby Walker Information from Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Canada". 
  10. ^ "Injury Data Analysis Leads to Baby Walker Ban". 
  11. ^ "Ban on Walkers". Retrieved 2008-03-23. [dead link]
  12. ^ "CPSIA Changes". CPSC. 2008. 
  13. ^ Greene, Alan (22 February 2010). "The Dangers of Baby Walkers". New York Times.  /
  14. ^ "The Juppy Baby Walker". Yahoo! News. 2010.