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How wheeled walkers put babies at risk

Parents want their new children to be safe. We lock cabinet doors, cover outlets and practically line walls with bubble wrap. Nothing’s too good to keep a new child safe.

That’s why it’s so perplexing to see a parent lovingly place their baby into a wheeled walker and let them go.

A new report shows how dangerous these toys can be. as over 230,000 children were sent to emergency rooms from 1990 to 2014 because of wheeled walkers. Most injuries were from children falling down stairways or over ledges. There were also incidents of kids reaching toxic materials while in walkers.

The most common injuries are head and neck-related. There are also cases of poisoning, electric shock and even drowning.

These walkers allow children who aren’t yet able to walk to move at over four feet per second. While this may not seem fast, babies are able to scoot around quicker than a parent anticipates. This leads to instances where they reach areas they aren’t supposed to or get away from a watching parent.

In fact, parents are often in the room when a child gets injured in a walker.

The U.S. has placed restrictions on these walkers that require them to be wider than most doorways. However, they are still widely available. Many parents falsely believe they are perfectly safe. As this new study shows, this is simply not the case.

Canada instituted a ban on wheeled infant walkers in 2004. The government found the risk was simply not worth keeping them on shelves. Now anyone caught trying to sell a wheeled infant walker risks a $100,000 and even potential jail time.

Instead of a walker with wheels, pediatricians recommend stationary walkers as an alternative. Allowing an infant to practice crawling on their stomach is another option. These are safer alternatives that can also promote the healthy development of balance and strength.

Wheeled walkers are simply not worth the risk. Children can be seriously hurt or even killed by these toys. No matter what companies try to claim, these walkers pose a serious health risk to our children.

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