In a study of 49 children between the ages of 8 and 14 months, parents were surveyed with a written questionnaire and a follow-up phone interview to determine the utilization of baby walkers and the frequency and severity of baby walker injuries. Most respondents (86%) placed their children in various types of baby walkers between 4 months and 1 year of age. Half of the 42 infants who used walkers experienced at least one accident involving a tip over, a fall down stairs, or finger entrapment. Two of those accidents resulted in injuries serious enough to require medical management. Both infants sustained head and neck injuries after falling down stairs in a walker. Whereas stairway and finger entrapment accidents occurred before the age of 7 months, tip overs were much more likely to occur after the age of 8 months. Injuries are more common but less severe than previously reported. Pediatricians and other child health advocates can inform parents about the health risks, encourage regulatory agencies to improve product labeling, and stimulate manufacturers to adjust the product to age and weight specifications of the growing infant.
- Received August 18, 1981.
- Accepted November 13, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics