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Women's Affairs Minister Backs Baby Walker Ban

Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré is backing Safekids' call for a ban on the sale of baby walkers in New Zealand.

"The child injury rate associated with baby walkers is horrendous and entirely preventable," Ms Harré says.

"Infants aren't physically ready to cope with the speed, height and mobility they get in these contraptions."

Safekids, a child injury prevention group, today launched a campaign asking the Government to place a mandatory ban on the sale of baby walkers.

It says New Zealand and international research shows 40 per cent of children using baby walkers will sustain injuries.

These include head injuries, skull fractures, intra cranial haemorrhages, burns and scalds and poisoning.

"Parents wouldn't expect their children to run before they can walk, but that's just what baby walkers allow them to do," Ms Harré says.

"In the past two months alone three children have been admitted to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital with severe burns sustained while using walkers."

Ms Harré says major retailers should support Safekids' stance by withdrawing baby walkers from sale.

"I challenge retailers to make New Zealand a safer place for children by voluntarily removing baby walkers from their shelves," she says.

ENDS

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