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Walker Joan M. PhD PT; Breau, Lorraine BSc(PT); McNeill, Donna BSc(PT); Rogers, Bethany BSc(PT); Sweet, Krista BSc(PT)
Pediatric Physical Therapy: Spring 1996
Article: PDF Only

Baby walkers have been associated with injuries, even death, and health associations advocate strongly against their use. Parents, however, continue to use these devices. A retrospective study was conducted in three Canadian provinces to determine how walkers were obtained, their use, and frequency of injuries. A structured telephone questionnaire was used to elicit retrospective and current data. Volunteer respondents were 73 caregivers to 111 children. The period of use ranged from five to ten months of age. A 14.4% injury rate was reported. These injuries commonly were bruises. The typical cause of injury was a fall down stairs. Only two children received medical attention with neither requiring treatment. Older model walkers having five or fewer wheels were associated with a higher reported injury rate (p < 0.01). Baby walkers were obtained from family or friends (49%), or purchased secondhand. Physical therapists can assist in prevention of injury through disseminating information on the dangers of this equipment. Greater public education is needed on the hazards of using baby walkers, especially older models.

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