Banning the use of baby walkers to prevent falls in young children (legislation)

Conclusion: Indications for effectiveness

The results of this analysis provide strong support for the conclusion that stair-fall requirements of a the baby walker voluntary standard substantially reduced the risk associated with the use of baby walkers. This conclusion is based on one non-experimental study. Therefore, evidence on standards regarding baby walkers cannot said to be conclusive.

Recommendations (for research & practice)

Notwithstanding the apparent effectiveness of the standard, baby walkers are not injury-proof: the standard is not likely to prevent all stair-fall injuries, nor does it address all hazard patterns. Consequently, walkers should never be used as a surrogate baby sitter or a substitute for adult supervision; doing so would likely erode the safety gains already achieved. Pediatricians and other care providers continue to play an important safety role by educating parents about the hazards of baby walker use (especially in homes with stairs), the availability of baby walker alternatives, and the importance of adult supervision.

Review Date: 10/02/2011
Version: 1.0
Status: Publish

Articles (reviews) and reports were included that were published between 2000 and 2010, in English and Dutch. The outcomes of the study were reviewed by the Dutch Consumer Safety Institute.

Strategy: An online literature search was performed by a researcher of the Consumer Safety Institute and after this a more thorough search was performed by the documentation centre of CSI (Catalog CenV, Pubmed, Injury lit, Google, Websites, 'Grey' literature). Results of each search were compared on differences and potential missed studies were added. First the titles and then abstracts were scanned in order to include relevant studies. In the case of insufficient information obtained from abstracts the full text articles were obtained. Relevant articles were scrutinized and background documents were created. In addition, relevant references of included articles were checked on new and relevant articles (i.e., snowball search).

The outcomes of the study were reviewed by an expert in the field of child safety in the summer of 2010.

Background documents

An evaluation of the effectiveness of a baby walker safety standard to prevent stair-fall injuries (version 1.0)
Gregory B. Rodgers, Elizabeth W. Leland (2005)

Child Safety Good Practice Guide : good investments in unintential child injury prevention and safety promotion (version 1)
M. MacKay, J. Vincenten, M. Brussoni, L. Towner ...[et al.] (2006)