Often when the discussion of baby walkers comes up it is more about the safety surrounding them than the potential child development problems they cause. Topics such as falling down stairs, burns, dental injuries and other injuries associated with them are much more common. However, many medical professionals consider the developmental issues as an equal concern and something parents should consider equal to the safety concerns.
Many people are under the false belief that a child actually gains motor skills from a baby walker and that the movement teaches them to take steps. In actually a baby walker does not teach a child to balance because they are sitting, not standing and propulsion moves them around not walking. Some still say that this movement simulates walking, but any potential gain would be minimal compared to the developmental concerns.
Some medical professionals have even gone as far as saying that some adult issue back problems are associated with baby walkers. The belief is that children learn to support themselves in a way that is not natural and that these habits are long lasting. Another factor may have to do with the amount of time children spend in a walker, this time can be hours a day and it does not allow children to develop naturally, that actions such as rolling and moving are limited. Children need to spend time learning how to stand on their own, pull themselves up, balance and walk assisted by a table or couch.
Many studies show that not only physical child development can be hindered but motor skills and mental development are also concerns. A study also showed that mental and motor skill development in 109 children with and without baby walker usage from 6 to 15 months old was varied. Children that used walkers experience walking, sitting and crawling at a later time than the children that never used walkers. Those same baby walker using children also scored lower on the Bayley scale for mental and motor skills. In general most professional feel that there are too many negatives for a parent to seriously consider the use of a baby walker. Between the developmental and the safety concerns most believe you should forgo a baby walker in favor of nothing or a stationary activity center.
There is so much for your child to learn and a babu walker takes away from their growth and development.
Tab Pierce is an executive sales leader and security professional who has spent years as a serial entrepreneur. He has owned successful companies within eLearning, data management, telecommunications and others. He has also successfully assisted companies integrate sound sales processes into their organization.