Health authorities have issued a warning about baby walkers and exercise jumpers, stating that the products pose a risk of developmental delays and injuries.
According to SA Health's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nicola Spurrier, injuries can stem from standing on tip-toes, and hence affecting the development of their calf muscles which could require surgery to correct.
“Babies miss out on valuable floor time when spending too much time in walkers and jumpers, bypassing important development stages such as rolling and crawling," Dr Spurrier said.
“There is also an increased risk of injury and babies have been known to tip over and even topple down stairs while in walkers. In jumpers, injuries can occur if fingers become trapped by the chain or springs, by bouncing into walls or objects, or if babies are pushed by another child.
“SA Health and Kidsafe are today launching a campaign to make parents aware of the dangers and to discourage the use of walkers and exercise jumpers altogether.”
Parents are advised to instead embrace the crawling phase and consider alternatives such as standing activity tables, baby swings or rockers.