Infant walkers cause significant injuries to thousands of children every year. They are of little actual value for child development and can do far more harm than good. When an infant is injured by a walker, the parents of the child may pursue personal injury and product liability claims against the manufacturer.
Infant Walker-Related Injuries
From 1990 to 2014, it is estimated that more than 230,000 children received treatment within hospital emergency rooms because of injuries caused by infant walkers. Of these, 91% suffered head or neck injuries. These included 38% who suffered skull fractures.
In all, 74% of injuries were caused when the walker tumbled down the stairs. This is a common injury that can occur with mobile walkers because infants lack the motor skills to safely control and navigate the walker.
Safety Improves, But Injuries Remain
Enhanced federal safety standards helped reduce the number of accidents and injuries recorded from 1990 to 2003. During this period, the number of injuries decreased by 85%. The number of accidents related to falls down stairs decreased by 91%. During this period, the annual number of injuries recorded declined by an average of 23% each year.
However, while the number of injuries recorded has declined since the early 1990s, infant walkers remain a serious threat that is still injuring a significant number of children every year.
Questionable Benefits of Baby Walkers
There is little evidence that shows baby walkers help infants develop the necessary motor skills for walking. Most pediatricians agree that the science behind the use of walkers is flawed and that walkers may actually slow the natural development process. The risk of injury simply doesn’t equate to potential gain.
In addition to their lack of proven benefit, baby walkers can also be poorly manufactured. A poorly designed or manufactured walker poses additional risks to the infant. Design flaws and poor quality construction techniques can make it impossible for the infant to operate the device or to safely control its movements. This can result in spills, tip-overs, and loss of control accidents that can cause serious, potentially permanent, or life-threatening injuries to the infant. Because of their questionable benefits and well-established record of risk, it is best for parents in Nevada to keep their children out of walkers to protect their health and safety.