Baby walkers discourage babies from learning to walk

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213-1785 PI_TPS2373566Kenyan babies could suffer stunt muscle growth, coordination as well as numerous injuries due to the use of baby walkers, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found.

“Baby walkers discourage infants from learning to walk and it gives parents a false impression that babies are truly mobile and can control their walking,” Dr. David Geller, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital said.

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“Babies who use walkers may actually learn to walk about a month later than those who don't because they allow babies to move around before they are physically ready for it, which can cause unusual movement patterns and delayed muscle control.”

They are also cause harm to the babies physically. According to the report, over 8,000 children younger than 15 months old in the US are treated for injuries associated with the baby walkers. Majority of the injuries are caused by falls.

The average age for babies to begin walking is after their first birthday. Some may start as early as 8 months, while others may take their time and begin at 16 months. So there is no cause for alarm if they are still crawling at 12 months. But if they are not able to walk at the age of two years, then the parent should consult a doctor.

The first steps of a baby are known as cruising, this is whereby they lean on things such as furniture or walls as they struggle to stand up and walk. It is advisable for the parent to guide them through this stage by holding their hand and help them walk around for longer distances. This will help the baby improve their balance and become confident on two feet.

The introduction of shoes should also not be immediately after they start walking. Going barefoot helps them improve balance and coordination.

 

 

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