Like baby saucers, walkers usually feature a sit-or-stand seat surrounded by an activity tray but walkers also have wheels that allow babies to move around freely by pushing off the floor with their feet. While many a baby will delight in the newfound freedom she finds in a walker, this mobility puts her at risk for dozens of household injuries. A common misconception about walkers is that they help teach children to walk sooner; unfortunately, these products may actually delay walking, according to Dr. Alan Greene, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Even in a well-babyproofed home and with adult supervision, a baby’s speed and ease of movement in a walker create enormous potential for accidents and injuries. Some of the biggest dangers include falls down steps; drownings in the bath or pool; and burns and poisonings, since the height of the walker gives baby better access to tables, countertops, cabinets, heaters and stoves. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the most common baby walker injury is a fall down the stairs, which can cause bone fractures, severe head injuries and even death. Because baby saucers remain stationary, they are considered very safe, as long as adult supervision is used.