Keep Your Baby Safe

Putting Your Baby in a Walker

Risk: More than 6,000 babies hurt their head or suffer other serious injuries each year when they fall down stairs while in baby walkers, according to the National Safe Kids Campaign. What's more, studies indicate that using walkers can temporarily delay normal motor and mental development -- "the opposite of what many parents assume," says Gary Smith, M.D., director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.

Remedy: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding these devices completely. Better alternatives: stationary activity centers and plain old tummy time, which encourages your baby to push himself up and crawl.

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