Parenting Perspective: The Walker debate
March 22, 2010 (WPVI) -- Sienna is just about to turn 8-months-old. Around 4 and half months, we introduced the "excer-saucer". She loved it... but after a while it got old, so around 6 months we put her in the "jumper". She loved that even more. Even though she was stationary, she thought it was a lot of fun jumping up and down while simultaneously squealing in delight.
A few weeks ago, shortly before she started crawling, I went online to purchase her a walker. Before I was a parent, I had gotten quite a kick out of seeing babies cruise around the house. It also gave the babies a lot more independence and mobility; something I knew Sienna would welcome, considering she appears to get frustrated that her body sometimes does not move as quickly as her brain does.
However, when I Googled "baby walkers" to find a brand I thought was entertaining, affordable and most importantly safe, I quickly learned there are many experts out there who do not believe baby walkers are safe at all. In fact, The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a ban on the sale and manufacturing of baby walkers. Although new safety standards for walkers were implemented in 1997, according to Healthychildren.org:
- "They are now made wider so they cannot fit through most doors, or they have brakes to stop them at the edge of a step. However, these improvements will not prevent all injuries from walkers. They still have wheels, so children can still move fast and reach higher."
Still, the American Academy of Pediatrics contends that, despite the new and improved design, the devices are not accident-proof.
Now, I would never leave Sienna unattended in a walker, so at first glance many may think the recommendation to ban all walkers is a gross overreaction. However, as I continued to read, I learned that a baby can move three feet in one second while in the walker! In addition, there are many in the medical field who believe that Babies who use walkers are likely to crawl, stand and walk at an older age than those who don't, says according to an article in the British Medical Journal. Doctors also believe the walkers may delay other motor skills.
We decided to not get the walker. I understand that if kept in the right environment, walkers can be a fun toy for babies but we decided the stationary "saucers" and "jumpers" were just fine. We just added a few extra toys to them to mix things up a bit. I'm sure there are thousands of children who used walkers and stayed on track to independent mobility but our decision as parents was to not take a chance with Sienna.
Now that she's crawling around with confidence and pulling herself up to stand like a pro, I have a feeling in a few weeks the jumper would have been put away into the dark depths of storage where the piles of other toys and clothes she grew out of too fast now have a home.
parenting - erin o'hearn, parenting, erin o'hearn
- Carolers sing to grant Pa. cancer patient's wish 6 min ago
- Record Warmth!
- Get the 6abc StormTracker app
- 2013 Troop Greetings
- Hospital: Teen shot at Colorado high school dies
- 6 apartments destroyed in Wilmington fire 49 min ago
- 1 dead, 1 wounded in East Mt. Airy shooting 19 min ago
- Police search for missing Delco mother
- Woman arrested in fatal North Philly stabbing
- 4 charged with murder in NJ mall carjacking
- Penn State student dies in jump from garage
- NASA astronauts tackle urgent spacewalking repairs
- Ransomeware a growing cyber threat for thousands
- Free diner for sale in Lawrence Twp., NJ
- Carolers sing to grant Pa. cancer patient's...
6 min ago