A baby in the house usually means lots of equipment, but a baby walker shouldn’t be in one’s arsenal. Although some parents are unaware of the prohibition or attempt to circumvent it by transporting a walker across the border from the United States, baby walkers have been prohibited in Canada since 2004.
Babies were arriving in the emergency room almost daily in the 1970s, when the market for infant walkers was booming, after falling from the devices and suffering traumas like fractured bones, concussions, and skull fractures.
Dr. Gary Smith, the director of Nationwide Children Hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy in Columbus, Ohio, said, “We were continually warning parents not to use them.”
Baby walkers expose children to dangers that they would not ordinarily be able to access if they were not being supported by the walker, increasing the likelihood that they would sustain an injury. Children using baby walkers also run the risk of falling down steps and suffering harm or even death.
Introduction to Baby Walkers:
An item that allows a youngster to move about is a baby walker. It has wheels at the bottom and a fabric seat inside a plastic base. It has four wheels and frequently has toys attached so the kid can play with it as she walks.
For infants between the ages of 4 and 15 months who are not yet stable on their feet but yet want to roam around, the gadget offers support. They can now walk unassisted by their parents or another adult.
Baby walkers are ones that “feature an enclosed space supporting the baby in a sitting or standing position so that their feet touch the floor, hence enabling the walker to move horizontally,” according to Health Canada. They can also be put on wheels or any other device that allows mobility.
Reasons behind the ban of baby walkers:
In April 2004, Canada actually outlawed infant strollers. This was due to the fact that 1,935 baby walker injuries were documented between 1990 and 2002 according to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP). Canada, the only nation to do so, also forbids the promotion and import of baby strollers, with defaulters subject to a sizable fine. Several stores voluntarily came out to stop selling the product for 15 years prior to the prohibition.
Baby walker-related injuries include:
- Tripping on stairs.
- Tossing around.
- Accessing hazardous items like home chemicals or hot beverages.
- Colliding with hot stoves or heaters.
Precautionary Measures taken to prohibit the use of baby walkers:
On these gadgets, children were flipping over, crashing into hot stoves, and falling down stairs, according to a federal investigation of walker-related accidents.
As a result, beginning in April 2004, Health Canada, the government’s health watchdog, outright prohibited the sale of baby walkers. People who are discovered importing or selling baby walkers, even secondhand ones, face fines of $100,000 or possibly imprisonment. Anyone risk being detained if they attempt to use a baby walker to enter the border.
Although the methods seem severe, they have been effective. Furthermore, local pediatricians want US regulators to follow Canada’s example.
In Canada, is it against the law to own a baby walker?
The sale, importation, and advertisement of baby walkers are now prohibited in Canada, the first nation to do so globally. This prohibition includes modified and used baby strollers, as well as those offered for sale at yard sales and flea markets.
What alternative to a baby walker is there?
The AAP advises choosing an activity center with either a stationary, spinning, or bouncy seat as opposed to a baby walker with wheels. Strong waggons or push walking toys are other fine options, but users will now need to keep a careful eye on the child when they use one of these because the wheels increase the possibility of accidents.
In Australia, are baby walkers prohibited?
Baby walkers are not advised for use in Australia and were outlawed in Canada in 2004.
In Canada, are Jolly Jumpers prohibited?
It’s interesting to note that although the Jolly Jumper brand and product were developed in Canada in 1910, they have been prohibited there since 2004.
Do walkers take their time?
Some parents purchase them in the belief that walkers will help their children learn to walk more quickly. The contrary, however, is also true: using a walker can postpone independent walking. This is due to the fact that learning to walk involves more than just using the legs.