Baby Safety

The Goods on the Baby Walker

When I was a baby I used to scoot around the house and even the driveway in my baby walker. So naturally, after I had my son I looked into getting one for him and hit a wall. They’re BANNED in Canada (where I live).

baby walker

Banned? Why? At first, it appeared that too many kids were rolling downstairs in them so the Canadian Government pulled them off the shelves. They have been deemed hazardous products. I’m confused – a hazardous product?

The Health Canada website even says that if you have one you must destroy it. Are they that bad?

On my last trip over the border shopping Babies R Us had 3 different models. I was tempted to just buy one then our Occupational Therapist explained that they are in fact bad for a baby’s development. They reduce the opportunity to learn, gain a sense of balance, stand up on their own, and lifts the baby up to a level that they are not prepared to be at. This makes them now able to grab a scalding cup of coffee or hazardous chemicals. 30-40% of infants who use walkers will have an accident. Infants in a walker are able to move at speeds of 1 meter/second and not even the most attentive parent can react fast enough to prevent an injury or a child flying down an ungated staircase.

Could the Canadian Government be onto something? They are the first country to ban the safe importation and advertisement of baby walkers. This also extends to secondhand and modified walkers.

With this all being old news why am I posting this now?

Most new parents, like me, have fond memories of scooting all over the place in their walkers, so naturally, you would want that to be a part of your babies’ memories as well. Plus, there has been much speculation as to why Canadians were not able to buy them.

I personally had no idea the little monkeys could go so fast in them. That alone could take off a toe. Everything else makes sense and I am glad that we went with the exersaucer because I take comfort in knowing that my son will be where I left him when I come back.

About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

1 Comment

  • Isn’t that something about baby walkers? My son is 26 years old now and my daughter, almost 25.
    There certainly wasn’t much in the way of publicity about the dangers of baby walkers back then.
    My kids used them, and loved them. Of course I kept a VERY close eye on those children.
    My daughter absolutely disliked crawling, and seemingly wanted to go straight from the floor to walking at 9 months of age.
    Now a nine month old baby is a top heavy baby, and an accident just waiting to happen. I couldn’t well tie her to the floor, so I let her use her walker, which in my opinion, was a great deal safer.
    Her pediatrician told me that she HAD to crawl or she’d have motor skill and depth perception deficiencies later in life…so I took away the walker.
    In spite of my constant hovering, she STILL managed to fall at age 10 months, hitting a low table. She got her first stitches that night.
    I am not saying that all babies should or shouldn’t use walkers.
    I just happen to believe that in some cases they might be appropriate.
    A lot of people have swimming pools and young children, but as far as I know, swimming pools have not been banned.

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