Some parents feel baby walkers can help youngsters learn to walk at an earlier age. But the American Academy of Pediatrics warns that baby walkers can be dangerous -- and delay walking.
The Academy says infants using baby walkers can
Accidentally roll down stairs, leading to serious injury.
Allow the child to reach dangerous objects that are high up, including the stove, leading to a potential burn hazard.
Increase the risk of drowning, as baby may fall from a walker into a bathtub or pool.
Increase the risk of accidental poisoning, as the walker allows baby to reach harmful substances that are stored up high.
Health Tip: Child Safety Seats
Every state requires that infants and children who ride in a car buckle up. But the laws vary when it comes to child safety seats.
Using a safety seat can help prevent injuries to a young child, but the device must be used correctly. Here are some suggestions, courtesy of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Restrain your child on every trip, every time.
Keep your child in the back seat.
Use the best safety restraint for your child's size.
Your child should use the seat until she reaches the maximum weight for the device, as long as the top of her head is below the top of the seat's back.
If your child tries to squirm out of the seat, find a safe place to pull the car over. Explain why safety seats are important. Let your child know that that car seat will help keep him safe, just like the seat belt you're wearing helps keep you safe.