Welcome to the February edition of our Kidsafe SA Prevention Matters Newsletter. This month's safety focus is on Baby Walkers and Exercise Jumpers. In this edition we discuss common injuries caused by baby walkers and exercise jumpers, provide some better safer options, and answer the question 'Do baby walkers help children learn to walk?'.
Dangers of Baby Walkers & Exercise Jumpers
Annually, more than 100 Australian children visit emergency rooms with an injury involving a baby walker (ACCC, 2019). Baby walkers allow young children to move quickly around the home and access items that may have been out of reach. It only takes a split second for a child to pull a hot drink or kettle off the bench and onto themself, or for the walker to tip or fall down the stairs. This video produced by the ACCC shows how easily injuries from baby walkers occur.
Do baby walkers help children learn to walk? When a child is in a baby walker they learn to walk on their tip toes, this is not a natural position and causes their leg muscles to become tight. This may require treatment, like casting or even surgery. Baby walkers do not help children learn to walk and may delay walking and other important milestones (rolling, sitting, crawling).
Like baby walkers, exercise jumpers cause babies muscles to tighten and may delay walking and other important milestones. The dangers of exercise jumpers include;
- Injuries to the child's head and limbs from falling out of the seat
- Injuries due to colliding with furniture and door frames
- Springs may trap or pinch fingers
- Delays in walking
- Muscular injuries that may require treatment such as casting or even surgery
Better, Safer Options
✅ Floor time
✅ Baby swing or rocker chair
✅ Activity table
✅ Push-type trolley
Download the Dangers of Baby Walkers and Exercise Jumpers brochure.
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