Are baby walkers safe?

Answers from Jay L. Hoecker, M.D.

Baby walkers — devices designed to give babies mobility while they're learning to walk — can cause serious injuries.

For example, babies who use baby walkers might:

  • Trip and fall over
  • Roll down stairs
  • Trap a finger
  • Be burned, poisoned or otherwise hurt after reaching for a dangerous object

Even new baby walkers — which typically use brakes to prevent falls and are too large to fit through doorways — can still lead to serious injury. Research also suggests that use of baby walkers can actually delay when a baby begins to sit, crawl or walk unassisted, as well as slow a baby's mental and motor development.

Don't allow your baby to use a baby walker and make sure that your baby's other caregivers don't use baby walkers, either. Instead, consider using a stationary activity center, play yard or playpen. These devices will allow your baby to play safely as he or she learns to sit, crawl and stand.

Jul. 09, 2013 See more Expert Answers