Dangers of baby walkers and exercise jumpers
Baby walkers and exercise jumpers are dangerous and are not recommended.
Baby walkers have a hard-plastic base on wheels with a sling seat. Babies can sit in the seat and move around, often before they are able to sit by themselves or crawl.
Baby walkers can be dangerous as they allow children to move quickly around the house and grab things normally out of reach.When in a baby walker they can:
- burn themselves grabbing hot drinks on benches, boiling kettles, hot ovens or touching open fires and heaters
- swallow dangerous cleaning products or medications on shelves or in cupboards
- fall down stairs or tip over on uneven surfaces.
Baby walkers DO NOT help babies learn how to walk any sooner, and may delay them reaching other very important milestones (rolling, sitting, crawling).
While in a walker, babies do not learn how to use their muscles properly. This teaches them to walk on tip toes, causing their leg muscles to become tight. This may require treatment, like casting or even surgery.
Better safer options
It is important to practice tummy time on a mat, sitting or crawling.
Baby swing or rocker chair
Set up on the floor, never up high. Use during awake time, not for sleep. Make sure the harness is done up correctly.
Practice pulling to stand at an activity table or low, secured furniture
Push type trolley
Practice learning to walk, behind a stable push-type trolley.
These resources have been endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
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