Baby walkers have been a big hit in the past few years. Parents have found that they are a convenient way to get your children around, especially for the older kids. Walkers give babies the ability to play out in the open where the dangers of stepping on toys or bumps in the floor are less likely. Also walkers allow you to keep an eye on your toddler while he or she is playing. You don't need a stroller and there are walker carriers available that will allow your baby to sleep well in an upright position.
Many countries have regulations against using baby walkers on public sidewalks and the use of Canada based companies that import walkers for this purpose. Many of these laws are currently being challenged in court. The main complaint is that they are banned in Canada for non-compliance. Canabist International, which is responsible for importing and manufacturing walkers in Canada, has taken several measures to protect the safety of their products. Banned items include any type of parts that are subject to modification, parts that require welding, parts that require drilling or modifications to their structure, and those that are built in a way that exceeds the guidelines set out by the Canadian Health and Safety Act.
Although the Canadian government has not actually banned the use of baby walkers there have been numerous complaints filed against Canabist for their safety standards. Some claim that the manufacturer has not followed Health Canada's guidelines for the design and construction of walkers. Others argue that Canabist has merely replaced the names of the applicable sections of the act with misleading names. In addition, some claim that the company fails to take seriously the possibility that improper construction could lead to injuries or even death. In addition, some feel that the ban on walkers in Canada is so extreme that it violates the rights of those wishing to enjoy this convenient mobility aid.
Canabist disputes these claims, saying that the Canabist Walkers products in Canada have met all of Health Canada's safety standards, including the use of Canadian standards in the design and manufacture of the product. The company also points out that in the past there were cases when factories in China were found to be manufacturing unsafe products, but that since the bans and regulations were introduced in Canada no new factories can be found that are involved in the manufacture of unsafe products. Critics of the Canabist baby walkers believe that the problem lies with the government rather than the product itself. They maintain that the government is Banning something that makes walking easier and therefore wants to ban things such as baby walkers.
One of the main concerns of critics is that baby walkers can lead to a variety of stair-related injuries. For example, using a walker while standing on the steps can lead to a fall down the stairs, and if that person was not wearing a protective gear such as a helmet this could result in a fractured ankle or worse. Others argue that while falling from stairs are relatively rare they do happen and this could be amplified by using a poorly designed walker, such as one that is not balanced on the stairs. Another worry of critics is the fact that some baby walkers can break a child's wrist in a fall, resulting in painful treatments or even amputation of the limb. These facts are unlikely to convince the powers that be of Canadian authorities however as health officials maintain that there has been little evidence linking injury or death from using a walker to stairs in any case.
The main argument against baby walkers reviewed on babygearreviews.co.uk, is not that they might cause harm to a person, but rather that they take up too much space. According to Health Canada statistics show that walkers take up only 32% of a newborn's time spent standing up. Baby walkers therefore offer parents a way to keep their infant relatively close to them at all times, without losing precious time spent on walking. For this reason, the use of baby walkers remains one of the most contentious issues when it comes to introducing new technologies into the home.