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Beware of Baby Walkers

Media release
December 15, 2000
Beware of Baby Walkers

Injury Free Counties Manukau and Kidz First urge people not to buy baby walkers this Christmas as they will be putting their babies at risk of injury.

Of immediate concern to Injury Free Counties Manukau is the fact that the current standards are not strong enough and baby walkers may be considered to be a great Christmas present for those with new babies.

“Baby walkers provide babies with a way of getting around and access to things that they are not developmentally ready for”, says Marlene Stratton Chairperson of Injury Free Counties Manukau and Inpatient Manager of Kidz First Children’s Hospital.

“We see a range of serious injuries due to baby walkers, from head injuries to broken bones and scalds. Baby walkers are associated with more injuries than any other type of baby equipment”, says Ms Stratton.

SafeKids have recently urged the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to follow the lead of New South Wales by adopting a United States ASTM Standard for baby walkers.

While Injury Free Counties Manukau –along with SafeKids- would prefer a ban on the walkers it supports the call for stronger standards at a minimum.

Many people believe that baby walkers help a child to develop quickly and learn to walk faster. There is increasing evidence to show however, that this is not the case and that they may in fact, slow or impede normal child development.

“The research indicates that baby walkers do not help with child development, and in fact may delay a child walking”, says Dr Alan Simpson a Community Paediatrician with KidzFirst.

ENDS


For further information please contact:
Shayne Nahu
Project Co-ordinator
Injury Free Counties Manukau

Ph 09-262 8964
Fx 09-262 8920


Injury Free Counties Manukau is a Health Funding Authority Programme, delivered by Manukau City Council.



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