Myth and Realities of Baby Walkers

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Myth and Realities of Baby Walkers

The walkers are rigid structures, with an outer ring, which are supported on legs with wheels and provided with a harness inside to place the baby.

There is still a popular belief that children should be “taught to walk”. Therefore, it is not surprising that baby walkers have been invented, with the intention of accelerating or stimulating the process. The reality is different, since not only do babies not walk, they are also a very important cause of childhood accidents.

What is a walker?

They are rigid structures, with an outer ring, which are supported on legs with wheels and provided with a harness inside to place the baby. In this way, the child stands with his feet on the ground. The fact of having wheels, makes babies can move with minimal effort.

Another type of baby walkers are trawlers
, that is, they consist of structures with wheels where the child grabs a bar and pushes them. This provides stability when you start walking and can move more easily. In this case, the child does not wear any harness and must be able to stand.

When do babies start to walk?

The correct question would be: when do we pediatricians worry that a baby will not walk alone? The child begins to move with the drag, then with the crawling, and finally, when his body is ready, he stands up and begins to take his first steps. Up to eighteen months we are “on time” to let our son develop at his own pace and walk alone. If a baby does not walk, there is something that prevents it, that is not mature and that needs time. This does not mean that parents do not do anything with our children … What we can do is encourage the baby to achieve each milestone of development: putting it on the floor to crawl and playing a lot with him to develop the muscles that will allow walking

All children are different in their pace of development and in their abilities. Everyone has their time. Everything comes when it has to.

The Danger of Baby Walkers in Figures

The alerts of the American Pediatric Association and the Spanish Pediatric Association on the use of walkers is based on the large number of childhood accidents that cause each year. For example, in the United States, about 600 injuries occur each year in children under four years of age.

From the point of view of development, physiotherapists in the United Kingdom state that baby walkers have been able to cause up to 4,000 injuries per year and that they distort the ability of children to develop their visual capacity and gait, due to the fact that its use, the exploration of the environment is not correct.

Countries such as Canada have banned its use since 2004 as it was the most frequent cause of head trauma in babies under two years of age.

The European Alliance for Child Safety does not recommend its use due to the high risk of injuries they pose to children and urges health professionals not to encourage the use of them.

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