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Research Supports Chiropractor Views on Baby Walkers

Thursday, 23 October 2008 14:58

Late-breaking research supports many chiropractors' long-held belief that baby walkers hinder infants' physical and intellectual growth, according to paper released in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

The study looked at 109 infants from the Buffalo, New York area.  Half of the subjects had used a walker, and half never used a walker. The infants were first tested at 6, 9, or 12 months of age, and again three months later, using a standard measure of physical and mental development. The study found that children who used walkers were slower than other infants to sit upright, crawl and walk. They also scored lower on early tests of mental and physical development, compared with other infants. Children who use new-style walkers with large trays were at the highest risk, according to the report. The new walkers obstruct infants' view of their feet and prevent children from grabbing at and investigating objects, interfering with the development of motor skills, say researchers.

Siegel AC, Burton RV   Effects of baby walkers on motor and mental development in human infants   J Dev Behav Pediatr 1999 (Oct);   20 (5):   355-361