Infant Walkers, Swings or Bouncy Seats

Are there any potential dangers in using infant walkers?

A potential danger of infant walkers is that developmentally, infants are not able to properly control them.  Infants are unaccustomed to the speed to which they can be propelled. They are also unable to protect themselves if the walker is tipped over.

Potential hazards include:

  • Entrapment of arms, legs, hands, or feet.
  • Head and other injuries from tipping over the walker, running into objects, or falling down stairwells.
  • Damage to feet and/or ankles from the walker running over the infant feet.

Are there any benefits in using an infant walker?

Children do not learn to walk any faster by using infant walkers.  It may actually delay walking by interfering with your child’s own motivation to walk.  Although your child may be more stimulated by being positioned upright and able to “bounce,” infant walkers should never be used unless under close supervision.

Other infants propelled toys may expose your child to similar dangers. They should also be used only with strict supervision.

Are bouncy seats and swings safe?

Yes they can be. Use them in moderation and make sure there are no safety issues. Use them when your child is developmentally ready to use them safely. They need to be assembled correctly and must have adequate support. Make sure there is not risk for an arm or leg being entrapped and as always be cautious about choking risk.

 

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