Time to ban infant walkers?
So many young children are injured while using infant walkers that these products should be banned in the U.S., say the authors of a new study. Researchers found that between 1990 and 2014, more than 230,000 children under the age of 15 months were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to walkers, an average of 9,000 a year. Almost three-quarters of the incidents, reports CBSNews.com, were caused by children in walkers falling downstairs; other injuries occurred because the walker gave a child access to something that otherwise would have been out of reach, such as a hot appliance. More than 90 percent of the accidents led to head or neck injuries. Improvements in safety standards have helped: The number of injuries fell nearly 23 percent in the four years after federally mandated safety rules were introduced in 2010; in 2014, about 2,000 children were injured by the devices. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long called for walkers to be banned in the U.S., as they are in Canada. “There are no advantages to using walkers,” says senior author Gary Smith, of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. “Parents should be told not to use them.”
Getty, Government of Yukon, Alamy ■