Experts say that walkers hinder the natural developmental progression of your baby to walk. They give the baby a sense of movement without aiding in strengthening major muscles for walking. They move while pushing the walker so they can move from place to place without the need to fully plant their feet on the ground. Walkers are designed to move in all directions, and most walkers move better backwards. This just develops the muscles at the back of their legs, and not the front muscles which are most needed for walking. Their sense of balance and coordination when it comes to walking is not encouraged for the walker itself is giving the baby the support and balance to move and prop himself up. They learn to depend on the walker for support and movement, and not their own strength.
Aside from developmental issues, walkers also pose a threat to your baby’s safety. Babies do not have a sense of safety and caution. Their only desire is to move, move, and move so they can explore around them. The more they move, the more they learn. However, when babies are in walkers, they also gain access to several places in the house that should be off-limits to them. This causes accidents, mainly head injuries and fractures. The causes of accidents while your baby is in walker are mostly due to the following:
- Snags in the carpet, objects or toys that obstruct the path of the walker.
- Not seeing the floor that they are stepping on for the walker obstructs their vision, and this can cause them to fall over stairs or a lowered step that leads to the backyard.
- Because babies do not know how to stop a walker in time, a running baby may bump into a precariously balanced furniture or gate causing either the furniture or the walker to topple over the baby.
Never rely on walkers to be your baby’s entertainment system or babysitter. You still have to supervise your baby and ensure that you have installed some safety devices in your home to make sure that accidents will be prevented as much as possible. Install baby-proof locks in doors, bolt pieces of furniture to the floor or wall, and keep the floor free from objects to maintain safety of your baby.