Infants can suffer serious injuries when unsupervised in baby walkers. Always keep an eye on you infant when they're using a baby walker and ensure hazardous areas in the house are blocked off.
Baby walkers allow infants to stand up and move around on their feet while they are still learning to walk. Walkers surround the infant with a frame mounted on wheels which the infant can hold on to.
Infants can suffer serious injuries, such as head trauma and fractures, if the baby walker tips over or falls down stairs. Unsupervised infants in baby walkers can also gain access to potentially hazardous areas they normally couldn't reach, such as:
- bench tops where there may be hot food, drinks or sharp objects
- kitchen utensil drawers where sharp objects are stored
- ovens and other appliances that can cause burns.
Child safety experts do not recommend baby walkers, due to:
- the serious injuries infants can suffer when using them
- possible delays in learning to walk caused when walkers are used frequently for periods 15 minutes or longer.
- Look for a baby walker that has a braking mechanism to stop it falling down steps.
- Check that any folding mechanism latches securely and will not collapse when assembled.
- Check that there are no sharp edges or points or places that can trap fingers.
- Ensure your child fits properly in the baby walker.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Always supervise your child in a baby walker. They should always be in reach of an adult who can prevent them accessing hazardous areas.
- Ensure the baby walker is only used on flat, even and safe surfaces to avoid falling or tipping over.
- Block off access to staircases, steps, kitchens and fireplaces to prevent injuries from falls, burns, electrocution, or sharp objects.
- Do not place any objects on the baby walker that could cause it to tip over.
- Do not leave your child in the baby walker for longer than 15 minutes at a time. Overuse can lead to developmental delays when the they are learning to walk.