If pediatricians have their way, the baby walker will soon be a relic of the past.
Baby walkers have traditionally been seen as the perfect toy for a curious infant. Parents were able to let their infants explore a little, convinced they were both safe and picking up a little help learning to walk.
In reality, baby walkers are incredibly dangerous for infants. In addition, they may even contribute to developmental delays — rather than promoting coordination and walking. If pediatricians have their way, baby walkers will soon be thing of the past. They’re already strongly urging parents to get rid of any walkers that they currently have.
According to a recent study, baby walkers allow infants to obtain too much mobility, far too fast. All too often, an infant makes it past a parent and topples down a set of stairs. Over 230,000 infants were injured in baby walker accidents between 1990 and 2014. The true number, however, is likely much higher, since that figure only accounts for infants who were injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
In the vast majority of cases, infants who fall down steps or take a fall out of the walker end up suffering head or neck injuries. Around 30 percent of the time, an infant will end up suffering a fractured skull or a concussion — both of which can be disastrous for a child in the early stages of development.
Doctors say parents are often astonished at how fast an infant can move in a baby walker. Injuries can happen even when the parent is present and attentive. Many simply cannot respond quickly enough to prevent the accident they see about to happen when an infant is moving about 4 feet per second in a walker.
Pediatricians are now calling for an outright ban on the manufacture or sale of baby walkers in the United States. They have advocated against using the walkers for years, but the recent study has prompted a stronger outcry. They say that manufacturers have misled parents into believing that the products were safe when they most certainly are not.
Baby walkers are another example of the type of dangerous products that end up marketed as children’s toys when manufacturers put profits above customer safety. If your child has been seriously injured by a defective toy, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the injuries. An attorney can help you understand your rights.