Once a staple for anyone with small kids, doctors are urging parents to stop using one of the most common baby items on the market: a baby walker.
A new study published in Pediatrics Magazine, has found that between the years of 1990 and 2014, nearly 231,000 babies younger than 15 months old visited emergency rooms for baby walker-related injuries.
With baby walkers averaging about 9,000 injuries per year during that period, researchers say that about 90 percent suffered from head or neck injuries, and almost three-quarters were hurt after falling down stairs.
Back in 1994, when baby walkers were still extremely popular in the United States, the Consumer Products Safety Commission declared that baby walkers were responsible for more injuries than any other children’s product.
Despite warnings, thousands of babies continue to get hurt every year from baby walkers.
“We know these walkers continue to be used in homes,” said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “They give children mobility before they’re able to handle it … They can move up to 4 feet per second in a walker and even the best parents in the world who are watching their children closely can’t react that quickly.”
A rally cry from the American Association of Pediatrics in the 1990’s called for a ban on the sale of baby walkers in the United States. And while no legislation was ever passed, voluntary safety standards were adopted by baby walker manufacturers to ensure less falls down the stairs. They did this by making baby walkers wider than standard doors,