Is baby walker a necessity for a child to learn walking?
My nephew received a baby walker as a newborn gift. This baby walker is equipped with various fun and colorful parts of alphabets, shapes and even nursery rhymes. It’s such a beautiful gift that even adults want to play with it.
But I told my sister she should think twice before letting my nephew to learn walking with a baby walker.
Here’s my view…
Many people would think that baby walker is convenient and safe, safe in a sense that a toddler can move freely and learn walking without physical support of adults.
If you take a closer look at how a baby walker works, you will see that when a toddler walks with a baby walker, the toddler does not control and coordinate his body, hands and legs when he’s moving with a baby walker. The toddler does not get to feel how leaning forward and backward can affect his movement.
Just because baby walker is convenient and mobile, a toddler is then exposed to even more risks of injury, such as falling onto hard surfaces, usually down steps or across changes in floor level, burns and scalds as a result of toddler gaining access to hot beverages and electrical appliances (e.g. kettles, heaters and ovens), choking from toys or play equipment attachments that come off easily.
Still not convinced by these points? Let’s look at some facts and data from America and Canada for you to consider if you’re still thinking “Should I get one for my toddler?”
An annual average of 23,000 baby walker caused incidents happened from 1990-1994
A rough 197200 baby walker caused incidents requiring medical attention involving toddlers below 15 months old happened from 1990-2001
Canadian government banned the sales and use of baby walker since 2004
Reality is, baby walker doesn’t train a toddler to walk. It is a misconception that the use of baby walkers helping to develop children’s walking skills. Numerous research have shown the opposite, over dependency on baby walker delays a toddler in achieving normal locomotor milestones, such as crawling, standing alone and walking. In severe cases, it will also cause atypical walking pattern due to poorly developed bone structures and weak leg muscles.
Children naturally develop their walking skills through rolling, sitting and crawling as they build stronger muscles in different stages of physical development. Placing your child on the floor is the best way to train their muscles and naturally develop these locomotor skills. As they master these skills, it will also develop their balance and coordination, both very important skills for when they start to walk.
“Everyone falls down, getting back up is how you learn how to walk” – Walt Disney.
1990－1994年, 美国平均每年发生23000 例学步车相关的伤害。
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