Baby walker

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A baby in a baby walker, 1905. Learning to walk.png
A baby in a baby walker, 1905.
"My walker - come with me!". A 6 month old child is sitting on a baby walker. 6 mesiachnyi rebenok sidit na detskoi khodun'ke.jpg
"My walker - come with me!". A 6 month old child is sitting on a baby walker.

A baby walker is a device that can be used by infants who cannot walk on their own to move from one place to another. Modern baby walkers are also for toddlers. They have a base made of hard plastic sitting on top of wheels and a suspended fabric seat with two leg holes. In the US, baby walkers are responsible for about 2000 injuries annually to children serious enough to require a trip to the emergency room, prompting calls from pediatricians for their outright ban.

Contents

Cause of developmental delays

Many parents believe that such walkers teach a child to walk faster. However, they may actually delay walking by two to three weeks for a typical child. [1] The amount of use matters; for every 24 hours babies spend in a baby walker (for example, one hour per day for 24 days), they learn to walk three days later and to stand four days later than they would have. [2]

Safety issues

Baby walkers have also led to many preventable injuries caused by tripping, toppling over, or skidding on wet floors. [3] [4] [5] These include injuries from falling down stairs while moving around in the baby walker, often with injuries that are worse than typical for falling down the stairs. [6] Walkers allow babies to reach areas they otherwise couldn't, including pools, bathtubs, and kitchens, where they can be at risk for burns from pulling boiling food off stovetops. [7] The total number of baby walker-related injuries is likely an underestimation because there are more than 40 different terms used in academic or news reports for these devices, [8] thus complicating a tally of the number of device-related injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, American Academy of Pediatrics, Kids In Danger, and other organizations have issued warnings to discourage parents from using baby walkers. Direct education of parents in a medical setting reduces parents' willingness to use these devices. [6] [9]

In Canada, the sale of baby walkers was banned on April 7, 2004. [10] [11] [12] Canada is the first country in the world to ban the sale, importation and advertisement of baby walkers. This ban extends to modified and second hand baby walkers, including those sold at a yard sales or flea markets. [10] The Canadian Consumers Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) changed the items that were allowed to be sold at such sales. [13] Owners of baby walkers may be fined up to CA $100,000 or sentenced to up to six months in jail. [14] [5]

In the United States, annual baby-walker-related injuries dropped from around 21,000 in 1990 to around 3,200 in 2003, attributed to publicity about the danger of such devices and voluntary safety improvements by manufacturers. [7] Eight babies died from such injuries between 2004 and 2008. [7] Annual injuries dropped a further 23% after mandatory U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission standards (adopted in 2010) went into effect, including testing requirements and brakes to prevent stair falls. [7]

Alternatives

A toy with four wheels and a handle at the top. A toddler can stand behind this toy and push it while walking. Baby Walker (50842018142).jpg
A toy with four wheels and a handle at the top. A toddler can stand behind this toy and push it while walking.

Parent-assisted baby walkers were developed as an alternative to traditional baby walkers. These types of baby walkers differ greatly from traditional baby walkers as they have no wheels and require full parent assistance while in use. The design of modern parent-assisted baby walkers is similar to leading strings in that the child is suspended upright from straps while learning to walk. Parent-assisted baby walkers offer a safer method for teaching a child to walk over traditional baby walkers that can be unattended while in use. [15]

There are also immobile play centers (baby jumpers), which look very similar to baby walkers, but which have no wheels. Baby Jumpers works on the strength of the baby’s legs as they essentially push or jump themselves up from the ground. Consequently, the baby is unable to move to dangerous locations. [16]

Some toys with wheels are designed for young children to hold on to while they are walking.

History

Jesus in a baby walker, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, c. 1440 Jesus in a baby walker from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves.jpg
Jesus in a baby walker, The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, c. 1440

Baby walkers were known as early as the 15th century in Europe. An illumination in the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, a Dutch manuscript from that time, depicts the infant Jesus in a wooden baby walker. [17]

Go-cart was a common historical name for the wheeled version. [18] Other alternatives were also used. A baby-runner was a padded wooden ring, set at the height of the baby's waist, on a pole that was fixed into the floor and ceiling. The baby was placed inside the ring and able to move in a circle around the pole. This prevented the baby from reaching dangerous places, such as hot ovens. [18]

Portrait of Maria Apollonia of Savoy (1594-1656) Kraeck, circle of - Maria Apollonia of Savoy, Stupinigi.jpg
Portrait of Maria Apollonia of Savoy (1594-1656)


Very Haughty and Very Mighty Legitimist Brats MET DP818678.jpg

Related Research Articles

Infant formula

Infant formula, baby formula or just formula or baby milk, infant milk or first milk, is a manufactured food designed and marketed for feeding to babies and infants under 12 months of age, usually prepared for bottle-feeding or cup-feeding from powder or liquid. The U.S. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) defines infant formula as "a food which purports to be or is represented for special dietary use solely as a food for infants by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human milk".

Sudden infant death syndrome Sudden unexplained death of a child of less than one year of age

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death or crib death, is the sudden unexplained death of a child of less than one year of age. Diagnosis requires that the death remain unexplained even after a thorough autopsy and detailed death scene investigation. SIDS usually occurs during sleep. Typically death occurs between the hours of 00:00 and 09:00. There is usually no noise or evidence of struggle. SIDS remains the leading cause of infant mortality in Western countries, contributing to half of all post-neonatal deaths.

Child harness

A child harness is a safety device worn by children when walking with a parent or carer. Child harnesses are most commonly used with toddlers and children of preschool age, though they may also be used with older children, especially if they have special supervisory needs such as ADHD or autism. Various types exist, though all are worn by the child and have a lead (tether) or rein which is held by a parent or caregiver. As child harness designs and purposes have evolved with cultural norms and parenting techniques, they have become subject to common debate.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is an American professional association of pediatricians, headquartered in Itasca, Illinois. It maintains its Department of Federal Affairs office in Washington, D.C.

Babywearing

Babywearing is the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a sling or in another form of carrier. Babywearing has been practiced for centuries around the world. In the industrialized world, babywearing has gained popularity in recent decades. Part of the reason for this shift is due to the influence of advocates of attachment parenting. Babywearing is a form of baby transport which can be enjoyed for as long as mutually desired, often until toddlerhood and beyond.

A boycott was launched in the United States on July 4, 1977, against the Swiss-based Nestlé corporation. The boycott expanded into Europe in the early 1980s and was prompted by concern about Nestlé's "aggressive marketing" of breast milk substitutes, particularly in underdeveloped countries. The boycott has been cancelled and renewed because of the business practices of Nestlé and other substitute manufacturers monitored by the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). Organizers of the boycott state that substitutes for breast milk are worse for infants' health. As of 2013, the Nestlé boycott was coordinated by the International Nestlé Boycott Committee, whose secretariat was the British group Baby Milk Action.

Bicycle helmet

A bicycle helmet is a type of helmet designed to attenuate impacts to the head of a cyclist in falls while minimizing side effects such as interference with peripheral vision. There is ongoing scientific research into the degree of protection offered by bicycle helmets in the event of an accident, and the effects of helmet wearing on cyclist and motor vehicle driver behaviour.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission United States government agency

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is an independent agency of the United States government. The CPSC seeks to promote the safety of consumer products by addressing “unreasonable risks” of injury ; developing uniform safety standards ; and conducting research into product-related illness and injury. In part due to its small size, the CPSC attempts to coordinate with outside parties—including companies and consumer advocates—to leverage resources and expertise to achieve outcomes that advance consumer safety. The agency was created in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act. The agency reports to Congress and the President; it is not part of any other department or agency in the federal government. The CPSC has five commissioners, who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate for staggered seven-year terms. Historically, the commission was often run by three commissioners or fewer. Since 2009, however, the agency has generally been led by five commissioners, one of whom serves as chairman. The commissioners set policy for the CPSC. The CPSC is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

Pacifier

A pacifier is a rubber, plastic, or silicone nipple substitute given to an infant to suckle upon between feedings to quiet its distress by satisfying the need to suck when it does not need to eat. Pacifiers normally have three parts, an elongated teat, a mouth shield, and a handle. The mouth shield is large enough to prevent the child from attempting to take the pacifier into its mouth, and so forecloses the danger that the child will swallow then choke on it.

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Infant bed

An infant bed is a small bed especially for infants and very young children. Infant beds are a historically recent development intended to contain a child capable of standing. The cage-like design of infant beds restricts the child to the bed. Between one and two years of age, children are able to climb out and are moved to a toddler bed to prevent an injurious fall while escaping the bed.

Walker (mobility)

A walker or walking frame is a tool for disabled or frail people, who need additional support to maintain balance or stability while walking, most commonly due to age-related physical restrictions. In the United Kingdom, a common equivalent term for a walker is Zimmer frame, a genericised trademark from Zimmer Biomet, a major manufacturer of such devices and joint replacement parts.

Childproofing The act of making an environment or object safer for children

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Gross motor skill

Gross motor skills are the abilities usually acquired during childhood as part of a child's motor learning. By the time they reach two years of age, almost all children are able to stand up, walk and run, walk up stairs, etc. These skills are built upon, improved and better controlled throughout early childhood, and continue in refinement throughout most of the individual's years of development into adulthood. These gross movements come from large muscle groups and whole body movement. These skills develop in a head-to-toe order. The children will typically learn head control, trunk stability, and then standing up and walking. It is shown that children exposed to outdoor play time activities will develop better gross motor skills.

Injury prevention is an effort to prevent or reduce the severity of bodily injuries caused by external mechanisms, such as accidents, before they occur. Injury prevention is a component of safety and public health, and its goal is to improve the health of the population by preventing injuries and hence improving quality of life. Among laypersons, the term "accidental injury" is often used. However, "accidental" implies the causes of injuries are random in nature. Researchers use the term "unintentional injury" to refer to injuries that are nonvolitional but preventable. Within the field of public health, efforts are also made to prevent or reduce "intentional injury." Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, for example, show unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death from early childhood until middle adulthood. During these years, unintentional injuries account for more deaths than the next nine leading causes of death combined.

Infant clothing or baby clothing is clothing made for infants. Baby fashion is a social-cultural consumerist practice that encodes in children's fashion the representation of many social features and depicts a system characterized by differences in social class, richness, gender, or ethnicity.

A baby jumper is a device that can be used by infants to exercise and play in. The original baby jumper consists of a hoop suspended by an elastic strap. More elaborate baby jumpers have a base made of hard plastic sitting in a frame and a suspended fabric seat with two leg holes, often with trays holding toys. The door jumpers lack the tray. There are also mobile play centers, which look very similar to baby jumpers, but which have wheels.

Infant and toddler safety are those actions and modifications put into place to keep babies and toddlers safe from accidental injury and death. Many accidents, injuries and deaths are preventable.

Newborn care and safety are the activities and precautions recommended for new parents or caregivers. It is also an educational goal of many hospitals and birthing centers when it's time to bring their infant home.

Infant bathing is the practice and activity of cleaning an infant by bathing. It has been characterized as being "fun", but care is recommended when an infant is in or around water. Most drowning deaths in children happen at home, often when a child is left alone while bathing.

References

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  2. Garrett, M; McElroy, A M; Staines, A (2002-06-22). "Locomotor milestones and babywalkers: cross sectional study". BMJ : British Medical Journal. 324 (7352): 1494. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7352.1494. ISSN   0959-8138. PMC   116446 . PMID   12077035.
  3. "Parachute - Preventing Injuries. Saving Lives". www.parachutecanada.org. Archived from the original on 2018-06-22. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  4. safety, Health (2020-02-25). "ARCHIVED - Baby Walker bad or good". www.best-for-babies.com.
  5. 1 2 Canada, Health (2004-09-28). "ARCHIVED - Injury Data Analysis Leads to Baby Walker Ban - Canada.ca". www.canada.ca.
  6. 1 2 Gielen, Andrea C.; McDonald, Eileen M.; Shields, Wendy (2015-01-01). "Unintentional Home Injuries Across the Life Span: Problems and Solutions". Annual Review of Public Health. 36 (1): 231–253. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031914-122722 . PMID   25581150.
  7. 1 2 3 4 As Injuries Continue, Doctors Renew Call For Ban On Infant Walkers
  8. https://www.safetylit.org/thes/index.php?tema=736
  9. Young, Ben; Wynn, Persephone M.; He, Zhimin; Kendrick, Denise (2013-11-01). "Preventing childhood falls within the home: overview of systematic reviews and a systematic review of primary studies". Accident Analysis and Prevention. 60: 158–171. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2013.08.001. ISSN   1879-2057. PMID   24080473.
  10. 1 2 "Baby Walker Information from Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, Canada". Archived from the original on 2008-10-21.
  11. "Injury Data Analysis Leads to Baby Walker Ban".
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  13. "CPSIA Changes". CPSC . 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-05-27.
  14. Greene, Alan (22 February 2010). "The Dangers of Baby Walkers". The New York Times . /
  15. "The Juppy Baby Walker". Yahoo! News . 2010.
  16. "The Best Baby Jumpers Buyers Guide! | Everything you Wanted to Know!". The Best Baby Jumper. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2017-11-16.[ permanent dead link ]
  17. Lamar, Cyriaque (23 October 2012). "Behold, the divine baby walker of Jesus Christ". io9 . Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  18. 1 2 Snodgrass, Mary Ellen (2004-12-29). Encyclopedia of Kitchen History. Routledge. p. 201. ISBN   9781135455729.