Infant Walkers Delay Walking

Jun 24, 2002

A newly published study supports evidence that baby walkers can slow infants’ motor skill development, delaying such milestones as crawling, standing alone and walking, reports Reuters Health. Mary Garrett and colleagues at University College Dublin report the findings in the June 22nd issue of the British Medical Journal.

Researchers found that of 190 infants, the 102 babies who used the devices were, as a group, slower to start crawling, standing alone and walking alone. Infants who used walkers stood on their own around the age of 13 months, on average, three to four weeks later than those who didn’t use walkers.

Further findings indicate that the more babies used their walkers, the greater the developmental delay. With each 24-hour increase in walker use, both walking alone and standing alone were delayed by more than three days, the report indicates.

Moderator Comment: Should retailers voluntarily remove
babywalkers from store shelves and inventory?

The American Academy of Pediatrics called for a complete
ban on mobile infant walkers in 2001. The Irish research simply reinforces that
conclusion. Walkers impede physical development. They have been also been associated
with infant injuries due to accidents. Retailers should place their own ban
on baby walkers. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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