Nowadays, baby walkers are highly discouraged by the scientific community. There are two major reasons as to why these plastic robotic contraptions are being banned:
- Delays your child from learning walking properly
- being extremely dangerous
Interestingly enough, my sister and I have used walkers ourselves while growing up. To be honest, nothing happened to us. However, our parents also used the necessary precaution like baby gates for example so that we don’t fall down the stairs.
However, nowadays, parents are so busy, that it’s possible that even the standards for danger prevention has increased another level.
There’s a reason why walkers itself is highly discouraged nowadays. In fact, even if you search on the internet, it’s also very difficult to find a good brand to purchase from, because their use has decreased over the years.
So what exactly are the dangers of using a walker?
High Speed Danger
What’s so dangerous about walkers? The idea of being mobile itself is not that dangerous. If you supervise your child correctly, then most problems can be corrected. However, babies on walkers are fast. They can travel up to three feet per second.
If that doesn’t sound very fast. Let’s say that your kitchen is around twelve feet wide. You have your water boiling on the flame. It will take your child 4 seconds to reach the steaming fluid, and the ferocious blue flames from the opposite corner of the kitchen.
Taller Isn’t Better
Even if you are extremely careful about your child zipping into your stove area, there will be other dangers in the house. Normally, you would assume that your child is short, weak, and incapable of walking yet so it’s not possible for her to reach certain areas with height restrictions.
However, with the addition of the walker, she is officially tall enough to reach certain things like the table cloth. If you have a lot of sharp things like forks, and knives on the table, then those sharps might land on your child the moment she forcefully tugs the table cloth towards herself.
Another problem is that at high speeds, she might also trip over something as she whiz left and right. If you live on the upper levels, then the stairs are also going to endanger her.
Lost Opportunity for Hand Eye Coordination
It’s being recognized in the scientific community, that walkers actually delays your child’s ability to walk. Anatomically, I am not sure how the complete mechanism works, but when your child is “walking” in the walker, she is not really walking.
There are two reasons for that. First reason is that she is not using the right muscle groups to allow herself to stand upright on her own and walking. As time passes by, she gets the false impression that she is walking, when in fact, she is just pushing herself while using the walker as a crutch.
It’s like the difference between riding a bicycle and riding a tricycle. The main difference between them is that she doesn’t have a true sense of balance with her body.
The second reason this is a problem is because she doesn’t learn her body very well. Normally, when she crawls around, or tries to stand up, she see what every part of her body is doing. However, with the walker blocking most of her field of vision, she can no longer gain the precious hand eye coordination practice that she should be getting.
This hand eye coordination, and motor skills is best learned through crawling on her own. Another reason this is good, is because all the right muscles are also being developed at the same time.
This is why that there’s a saying that kids who learn to crawl first before they walk are actually smarter in a sense. It’s because they gain self awareness much faster.
I actually have a buddy who told me she leaves her children to play on the floor all the time. They all learned to crawl and walk within nine to ten months.
Should You Use a Walker Then?
Honestly, there are no known benefits to walkers other than being a one time purchase baby sitter. This also depends on whether your kid likes to be in a walker or not.
My daughter certainly didn’t and the walker is still lying around house sitting in the dust. You might be wondering why I bought a walker for her when I know all the dangers. The truth is that my daughter doesn’t use the walker.
She treats the walker like a very fancy chair and just sit there playing with toys that came with the purchase. Not to mention it’s my mother (her grandmother) who insists on getting my daughter a walker.
Personally, my walker most likely won’t endanger my daughter’s life, because she practically doesn’t even use it. This is something you should be aware of too. You might purchase the most expensive and gorgeous things for your children, but at the end of the day, it still depends on whether they would use it or not.
You might get angry at them for not using your high value toys, but those toys have zero value in their hearts so there’s really no point. You want them to be happy, so focus on what they want instead.
If you insist on getting a walker, you can still get one. Don’t purchase a second handed ones, because the newer walkers follow stricter regulations in terms of safety. The new walkers are wider so they can’t slip past a doorway, and they have emergency brakes that can stop your kid from falling down the stairs; theoretically.
Honestly, just letting your child crawl around on a sparkling clean floor is more than enough of letting her have all the fun in the world. If you really insist on getting her something, then get an exersaucer, or a jumperoo. Those are non mobile (no wheels) jumping toys that your child can play with.
In other words, she would stay in one spot and bounce her day away. Just remember that none of these can help her learn to walk faster than her crawling on the floor. I hope this reviewed has helped. If you have any questions, then leave it in the comment section below.