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According to various worldwide studies, walkers are responsible for the majority of baby accidents. However, parents keep on using them, mainly due to the wrong belief that the walkers can help the baby to walk earlier. 

It is important for parents to know, that the walkers do not help the baby to walk earlier. On the contrary, they can further delay your baby’s walking. This happens because when the babies are in the walker, they use the tips of their toes to “walk”. So, when the babies are out of the walker, they tend to continue their effort to walk by using only the tips of their toes, which is not the normal patten. In addition, sitting in the walker, usually delays the ability of the baby to balance on his own. 

Unfortunately, accidents continue to happen, even with babies on constant supervision. According to an American study, up to 70% of the cases include babies with someone looking after them at the time of the accident. In the United Kingdom, in a period of one year, over 2500 babies were transferred to the hospital after an injury caused while using a walker; 70% of them were less than 12 months old. According to an Australian study, one third of the babies who use a walker will get injured.

Why baby walkers are dangerous for children?

Baby walkers allow the baby to move with greater speed and enable to use their hands easier. For this reason, babies on a walker can easily fall of the stairs, hit on a table’s corner or on a glass door, or even crash on a warm oven. The baby walker does not offer balance to a baby who does not have the ability yet to stand or walk on their own. As a result, a baby can easily overturn and get hurt. 

The majority of injuries is caused by:


Staircase fall: Moving around with a walker is very easy for a baby. If a stair gate is not installed at the top of the stairs, then a staircase fall is very possible and can lead to serious head injury.

Overturn: An overturn can occur very often due to the baby’s lack of balance. This can happen especially when the baby moves on uneven surfaces (door thresholds, carpet edges) or when toys are on the floor.

Burns: A baby on a walker with increased movement and speed can easily touch a hot surface like a hot oven door, a hot grill etc. Also, they can easily pull with their hands or crash on a table, and as a result a bowl of hot water or a pan with hot oil fells off. Unfortunately, the majority of burns occur on the head and the face.
According to a study in Wales, 25% of the babies who had an injury during the second semester of their life, were injured while they were in the baby walker.

Guidelines for the safe use of baby walkers

It would be more preferable not to use a baby walker at all. Butif you decide to use one, keep the following tips in mind: 


Make sure you child is constantly supervised when they use a baby walker.

The baby walker should be big enough so it cannot get through a door.

Close all the doors in the area where the baby uses the walker.

Make sure the baby walker has a breaking mechanism which prevents it from falling down the steps and stairs.

Make sure the baby uses the walker in a room with flat floor surfaces. If there is a staircase, install a stair gate at the top.

Do not use the baby walker in the kitchen. Make sure you don’t have hot liquids at baby’s reach and keep them away from any hot surfaces.

Do not use a baby walker in a room with an operating fireplace.

A baby walker should not be used in spaces with water pools or toilets.

Make sure there are not any electricity cables at children’s reach.

Look for the European Standard EN 1273:2005, as an indication to make sure that the baby walker fulfils the European safety requirements.

It is of paramount importance to have the aforementioned guidelines in mind, in order to prevent injuries at home and to protect your children.  

Authored by Dr. Adamos Hadjipanayi, Paediatrician