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Baby Walkers Beware of Safety Concerns

By the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more children are injured in baby walkers than with any other nursery product. The accidents happen even when a caregiver is nearby. Almost all of the victims are children under 15 months of age. Most of the injuries are caused by:

  1. Falling down stairs.Children in baby walkers can quickly move to the edge of the stairs and fall. This kind of accident frequently happens when someone forgets to close a basement door or safety gate.
  2. Tipping over.Baby walkers can tip over when children try to cross uneven surfaces such as door thresholds or carpet edges.
  3. Burns.Children in baby walkers can be burned when they touch hot surfaces such as range doors, radiators, heaters and fireplaces. Children can also be burned when they reach and spill hot liquids such as soup, coffee or cooking oil.

You May Want to Use an Activity Center Instead of a Walker

WalkersIn an activity center, your child will be protected from most injuries associated with baby walkers. Some activity centers are stationary; others allow your child to walk within a limited area.

If You Plan to Use a Walker

It is important to buy a new walker that has safety features to help prevent falls down stairs. However, it is not possible to find a product that is safe in every situation. Therefore, it is very important to follow all safety instructions on the warning labels.

Safety Tips

  1. To prevent accidents, always keep your child within view. A walker increases your child's mobility and his/her reach.
  2. To avoid a fall down stairs or steps, make certain that the door or gate is closed at the top of the stairs every time you use a walker.
  3. To avoid a tip over, use a walker only on smooth surfaces. Carpet edges, thresholds and uneven pavement can cause a child in a walker to tip over.
  4. To avoid a burn injury, keep your child in a walker away from hot surfaces and containers with hot liquids. Beware of dangling appliance cords.
  5. To avoid a drowning, keep your child in a walker away from swimming pools, toilets and other sources of water.

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