Are Walkers Banned In Canada

James Lee
• Tuesday, 08 December, 2020
• 11 min read

The baby walker ban officially became law in April 2004, after 15 years of retailers not selling them on a voluntary basis. Health Canada decided to make it law because Canadians were still bringing them in to the country despite the safety risks.

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Health Canada defines baby walkers as those that “are mounted on wheels or on any other device permitting movement of the walker and that have an enclosed area supporting the baby in a sitting or standing position so that their feet touch the floor, thereby enabling the horizontal movement of the walker.” Beyond this, walker use is dangerous,” wrote pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene in The New York Times.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article The baby walker ban officially became law in April 2004, after 15 years of retailers not selling them on a voluntary basis.

Beyond this, walker use is dangerous,” wrote pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene in The New York Times. I even used them for my own children, which I guess makes me relieved that I’m not Canadian.

The baby can touch the floor with their feet and propel themselves around the house. Many modern walkers are also adorned with plenty of baby bling, such as rattles, mirrors and other toys.

Even if you live in countries like North Korea where a ban might seem dumb, but following it will improve your safety by not being shot. If you buy a walker for your baby you will, or should notice the warning attached to it.

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Firstly they place the baby at a higher level, making it easier for them to reach dangerous items. In a majority of cases the injuries associated with the baby device are soft tissue damage, fractures, concussions and even burns (from reaching items they couldn’t previously).

This elevated height allows them to reach items that they couldn’t before, such as knives and hot pots. Other injuries are falls from steps, or from climbing out of the mobility device.

Well I hope that you have a pocket full of money, and that you have sold about a thousand of them at one hundred dollars each before you got caught. If you own, sell or even give away a baby walker in Canada you will be heavily fined or possibly spend 6 months as a guest of the Canadian public in one of their fine penal establishments.

It is illegal to import, advertise for sale, or sell baby walkers in Canada. It is also illegal to sell baby walkers at garage sales, flea markets, or on street corners.

Infant walkers are seats hanging from frames that allow a baby to sit upright with the legs dangling and feet touching the floor. To clear this cloud of fear from most parents, baby walkers do not cause bow legs.

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Studies have shown that those babies that use walkers to help them learn, may actually walk a month later than those who have not. Apart from this, the baby needs to be able to hold his head up quite steadily and have his feet touch the floor when placed in the walker, to be able to use it.

“Excessive time in walkers and jumpers teaches babies to stand up on their tip toes, causing their calf muscles to tighten and affecting their ability to walk, and in some cases requiring treatment with casting or surgery,” Dr Spurred said. If you’re looking to buy a baby walker, you might be surprised to learn that they’re banned in Canada because they’re considered unsafe to use.

Picture a plastic base with wheels on the bottom and a fabric seat suspended inside. Health Canada banned baby walkers in 2004, and for 15 years before that, major retailers had agreed to respect a voluntary ban.

You might think that you would diligently watch your baby to make sure they didn’t get injured, but little ones got hurt even while supervised by an adult, because the walker allows them to move faster, up to a meter per second. While baby walkers are still available in the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has repeatedly called for them to be banned because they are unsafe.

In fact, there’s some evidence that they may delay development,” says Gail Kirkwood, a physiotherapy clinical specialist in pediatrics. Walkers allow babies to be mobile before they have the core strength and balance they need for cruising and walking, she explains.

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The walkers force your baby to push with their feet and legs, but don’t let them practice movements that will help them with the stability they need for independent walking. Stationary activity centers without wheels, used for 20 minutes or so at a time, or stand-up push toys for older toddlers, are safe when used under supervision, as long as you’re following the age requirements.

The ban, long called for by child safety advocates, was announced by Health Minister Pierre Pedigree. President-elect Dr. Robin Walker said the group is relieved the federal government has finally moved to ban the items.

But Health Canada says that in recent years increasing numbers of the once popular products have found their way onto the Canadian market. They've long been viewed as highly dangerous, with reports of children falling down flights of stairs while in the walkers.

The pediatric society surveyed pediatricians in 2002 in an attempt to assess how often they saw injuries related to the use of baby walkers. The survey revealed that even though child safety advocates had been discouraging the use of wheeled walkers for more than a decade at that point, seven per cent of pediatricians had treated at least one walker-related injury in the previous year.

An alleged leader of the Hells Angels biker gang in Ontario surrendered to Quebec provincial police Wednesday after officers from both provinces broke up a luxury-car theft ring. Police arrested 50 people after breaking up the ring, which operated in Quebec and the Ottawa area and reportedly had links to the Hells Angels.

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Washed-out roads and driveways prompted further evacuations Wednesday on Manitoba's largest aboriginal community as flood waters continued to rise. The ban includes check-out bags, straws, stir sticks, six-pack rings, cutlery and footwear items, according to a press release from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The action is based on Canada’s 2018 zero plastic waste strategy designed to “eliminate plastic waste as part of Canada’s larger move to a more circular and low carbon economy.” The goal of the strategy is to promote design of items for reuse instead of being discarded. “This proposed ban will help drive innovation across the country as new and easier to recycle items take their place in our economy,” said Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, in the press release.

It’s not toxic,’ said Elena Managers, vice president of the plastics division for the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, as reported by the National Post. A 2016 Rochester Institute of Technology study reported that 22 million pounds of plastic debris from the U.S. and Canada ends up in the Great Lakes annually.

Not specific to plastic or preventing pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a Trash Free Waters program aimed at “reducing the impacts of human activities such as trash, litter, and debris in the Great Lakes,” according to the agency’s website. Recent grant recipients included $300,000 each to Chicago’s Alliance for the Great Lakes for its Adopt-a-Beach program that expects to remove 100,000 pounds of garbage from Great Lakes beaches, and the Belle Isle Conservancy to form a coalition that would remove 30,000 pounds of trash from the Detroit River.

In Ontario, it’s estimated that 1 billion plastic water bottles annually are not recycled and end up in landfills, according to the watchdog group, the Council of Canadians. “While plastic water bottles are found as litter in the environment, they have high recycling rates due to provincial and territorial deposit systems and other programs.

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In an opinion column in Canada’s National Observer last week, Barlow bolstered her case for the ban on single-use plastic water bottles. Environment and Climate Change Canada is accepting comments on its plastic initiative until December and expects to finalize regulations by the end of 2021.

Featured image: Rabbi Yosef Chased, left, helps unload bottled water being donated from Lorie Lutz, right, at the Bright moor Connection Food Pantry in Detroit, Monday, March 23, 2021. Advance for PHYSICAL THERAPISTS Over the past decade, millions of parents have found baby walkers and similar products an ideal way to keep their kids busy and out of trouble while they take a break or attend to chores.

“I don’t think the advantages of walkers and saucers override the disadvantages,” said Debt Pardon, PT, a staff therapist at the Voorhees, NJ. The American Medical Association called walkers a “lethal form of transportation” and a new study supports that description.

Prevention strategies such as adult supervision, warning labels and stairway gates are not enough to make the walkers safe. From a safety standpoint, stationary activity centers like the saucers, which don’t roll across the floor on wheels, are preferable to baby walkers.

But those who spoke with ADVANCE said both walkers and saucers can cause physical impairment and stress that they would not recommend either device. So far, the evidence pointing to physical problems is largely anecdotal partly because it is difficult to measure the movements of such tiny bodies when they are in a cumbersome piece of equipment.

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And manufacturers counter that saucers can help kids develop some coordination as they turn, bounce and rock. The only known condition these babies have in common is spending an inordinate amount of time in a walker or saucer.

Peter A. Gorky, MD, MPA, executive director of the Massachusetts Caring for Children Foundation in Boston, said that along with physical and safety issues, he is concerned that walkers and saucers give parents and babies less time to interact. “The walkers diminish both crucial social interactive time and create unsafe situations,” he said.

The clinicians interviewed agreed that babies need supervised “tummy time” to develop back, neck, abdominal and buttock muscles. They recommend a return to simply time spent playing with Mom a Dad on the floor, instead of using walkers and saucers.

If walkers and saucers must be used, babies should be in them no more than 20 minutes a day and parents should be with the child during that time, Gorky said. They are a standard gift at almost every baby shower, and for years parents have welcomed them as a respite from hands-on child care.

Pediatricians, physical therapists and other health professional who work closely with infants say inappropriate uses and mounting injuries make the baby walker at item worth greater scrutiny. “ Walkers are generally bad for babies because manufacturers haven’t found a way to make them safe,” said Donna Pi cone, Med.

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PT, supervisor of the early intervention program at John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Edison, NJ. Most major walker makers have attempted to answer parental and consumer concerns by reducing the size of leg openings and adding inches to the height of the back rest.

With today’s higher backs and lower heights, it’s easy to be lulled into thinking that walkers provide appropriate support, the PT acknowledged. The belief that walkers accelerate a baby’s ambulatory progress is also a misconception, Ms. Pi cone pointed out.

Although parents may believe a walker will promote exercise and purposeful movement, it actually can encourage inappropriate balance and postural techniques. According to physical therapists and other clinicians who have studied motor behavior in infants, this reinforces undesirable movement patterns and can lead to problems in the manipulation of handheld toys.

Walkers may be particularly inappropriate for children with motor delays or other developmental problems, according to published research (see suggested reading list at end of story). Among infants with muscle tone or coordination problems, walker activities may hinder progress in physical therapy and other treatment.

Although babies can move the walker at an early age by pushing with their feet, this is only because their body is supported and not because they have the motor control and balance necessary for walking. “ Walkers can provide parents with a few uninterrupted minutes to get something done, and they also give babies a sense of mobility and freedom,” Ms. Pi cone said.

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Discouraged by the child’s continued volatile responses when she placed the girl on the floor, the mother tried a walker. As a matter of routine, therapists in the early intervention program at JFK Medical Center ask parents whether they use a walker at home.

We won’t modify a lot, though, because if the child got hurt in the walker, liability would be an issue...but often, just adjusting one notch can do the trick.” In the majority of accidents, babies fall down stairs in the walkers or topple over when the wheels become jammed.

These injuries, which typically include head fractures and lacerations and tooth damage, have become so prominent that a Seattle pediatrician recently called for the removal of baby walkers from the market. Abe Bergman, MD., director of pediatrics at Harbor view Medical Center, said last month that he and some pediatrician colleagues intend to ask the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a ban on walkers.

Clinical Pediatrics 23.98-99;1984Kauffman, J., Rider, N. “Influence of an Infant walker on Onset and Quality of Walking Patterns of Locomotion: An Electromyography Investigation”. Perceptual and Motor Skills 45:1323-1329;1977Kavanaugh, C., Branch, L. “The Infant Walker: A Previously Unrecognized Health Hazard”.

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