Planning to buy a walker for your kid?

You are planning to buy a walker for your kid who has just started sitting up. That will help him take his first steps, you feel.

Perhaps you need to do a rethink on the issue. If you buy your child a walker, he will start walking sooner than he would have otherwise. But, don’t you think you are interfering with his natural growth process by doing this. With the walker, moving will become much too easy. So, your child will skip important tasks like crawling, creeping or hitching.

Walkers

Walkers [Illustration by Shinod AP]

According to the American Paediatrics Association, walkers are detrimental to an infant’s development. This age is important for developing strength and coordination. A walker will interfere with the child’s desire to walk by providing an easier alternative.

Besides decreasing the desire to walk, the walker will strengthen the lower legs, while the upper legs and hips, which are necessary for a straight gait, will become relatively weak.

Moreover, children in walkers have more accidents than those who don’t. Walkers often tip over when a child bumps into a small toy or the edge of a rug. And, they are more likely to take a dangerous fall down a flight of stairs.

No matter how much your child seems to enjoy the walker, she can’t think of the long term consequences of a walker. As parents, a part of your role is to do that for her. With each new choice, consider what this teaches your child, how this will affect her, what are the implications for your child — over the long haul.

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