When a baby reaches the age of 4-5 months, their physical activity increases significantly.
The little ones already know how to roll over the belly (most babies, some crumbs are learning this important skill), they start to climb on all fours, they try to crawl, the crumbs are very interesting and they are trying to get everything.
In this important period of child development, many parents begin to think of devices that allow them to move independently, and still do not know how to walk. walker.
What is a walker?
Walkers for children are of two fundamentally different types:
- Walkers designed for children who still do not know how to stand and walk on the stand. These walkers are a platform on wheels, which has a seat for the child. In this type of walker, the seat is designed to provide support for the child from all sides, so that the baby can not go anywhere. And the child’s feet rest on the floor, thanks to which the baby moves around the room, pushing his legs off the floor. The child can turn and go independently to where he needs it.
- Walkers, wheelchairs. This type of walker is designed for children who are already walking on the stand. Walkers for children’s cars are designed so that a child who begins to walk alone can get away from the static supports (sofa, armchair, table), for which he stands and walks, using wheelchairs instead of support. That will allow the rookie walker to move around the house. Walkers for wheelchairs for children can also be transformers. That is, the usual wheelchair can be modified quite easily and quickly in the wheelchair of the machine (the machine in which the child sits and, pushing from the ground with his feet, mounts). A child who has already completely mastered the independent gait and no longer needs support devices can play a stretcher of this type.
Are children’s walkers harmful or not?
It is definitely quite difficult to answer here, and therefore, we will classify the benefits and harms of the baby walker in order.
And so, to begin with, about the advantages of a walker:
- The walkers for children provide a sea of positive emotions, which is understandable, because the child has the opportunity to move independently where he wants. And, in addition, in a vertical position, you can also see much more than lying or on four legs. Also in the walker there are several elements of development that are also interesting for the child, there may be musical additions. Well, the game is always a joy for a child!
- Walkers give parents free time. While the baby runs in a walker or plays the “vagabonds” represented in the walker, mom and dad can take care of their affairs.
- The vertical position stimulates the development of intelligence.
Here is a not-so-great list of positive points in the use of classic walkers. There are some positive points about walkers:
- The child is encouraged to walk independently.
- When using baby walkers, the child adopts a correct posture, because the baby rests on the wheelchair with both hands and automatically straightens the shoulders to roll the walkers.
- When the baby rolls the stretcher, it correctly places the feet, since the whole foot must support itself to make a push movement.
Now about the dangers of walkers
- When used in children who do not stand up and do not walk alone, even the measured use of the walker can cause deformation of the legs and spine. The uncontrolled use of walkers can cause bone deformities at any age.
- A child who uses a walker, then begins to walk independently, because he does not feel the balance and can not do it without support. The cerebellum is developing little, its function is impaired.
- Walkers are traumatic, since the child can develop a fairly high speed and, by attacking any obstacle (threshold, toy), there is the possibility of simply turning around in the walker.
A child who clings to the fact that with a raid on the wall or something terrible does not happen, can easily hurt himself when he is unprotected.
In addition, by attacking a wall at high speed, a child can hit his face and chest against the walkers.
- When using a walker, the child skips the crawling stage, which adversely affects physical and mental development in general, inter-hemispheric connections are formed incorrectly, since there are several movements that force the brain to develop, its Right and left divisions interact. In the walkers, however, the movements are very limited and monotonous, the child does not have the opportunity to bend over, bend down, pick up objects of interest from the ground.
- A child, while in a walker, can not change his position independently if he is tired. That is, the child walks in a walker or sits, but does not have the ability to change the position of their body, which can lead to an overload of the musculoskeletal system.
- The muscle tone is broken, the crotch is compressed.
- Formed is not the correct statement of the stop when walking.
- The psychological aspect of personality formation is also violated, since the efforts made by the child to achieve any goal (get a toy, reach the door, follow the mother) in the walkers are much less. That is, the child gets what he wants much easier and faster than it is possible, if he does not resort to the use of walkers. Then, in later life, the child does not seek to pursue something that requires additional effort, since he did not learn it in childhood.
Of course, all these negative factors are almost exclusively related to walkers, which are used in children who still can not stop and take action with support. For walkers, wheelchairs, these disadvantages are not.
When using them, it is only possible to postpone the deadlines for walking independently without support for a later time.
But each parent will have to decide if their child needs a walker. I would advise you that if you really want to have a walker, take a wheelchair, have more benefits than damage.
Although, without the use of a walker, your baby will learn to walk much faster.
When you can put a child in a walker, or rather, for a walker with a walker, then the answer is obvious, as soon as the child gets up on their own and starts walking towards the support.
And therefore, he still decided to buy a walker for his son, to which he must pay attention when choosing a walker:
- Quality certificate. Make sure you have a walker, like any product you buy, and especially if it’s for children.
- Compliance with age and height, the child’s weight, which are listed in the instructions for the walker. If a walker can be used to plant a child up to 85 centimeters tall, then a child who is taller can simply fall off these walkers.
- The base of the walker must be larger than the top of the table, otherwise, the walker will be less stable and more traumatic.
- Number of wheels The larger the wheels, the less likely the inverter will turn. Optimally 6-8 wheels, but maybe 10. Well, if the wheels can be removed, then they will be easier to care for.
- Material from which the wheels are made. The least noisy and softest for the floor – silicone.
- Existence in wheels of a stopper. It can be very useful when the crumb is not in the walker: the child will not fall if he wants to get up and clings to the walker.
- The seat should be deep and wide. Better with a removable waterproof case. Then it will be possible to plant a child without a diaper and easy to wash.
- Possibility of adjustment in height. A child who is in a walker must put completely one foot on the floor, and not just the socks.
- If you take a walker, a stretcher, then decide immediately how long you need it, maybe it is better to take a stretcher transformer?
- Do not forget to check all adjustment mechanisms, nothing should be stuck. And, if the toys on the table are removable, check their assembly and, after removing the development element in place, there are no spaces and holes where the child can put their fingers.
You can buy walkers for babies and see their photos in several online stores, although the choice of walkers is simply huge in large and simple stores for children.
The prices for walkers depend on the model, additional functions, from the producer. The simplest classic walker can buy from 1200 rubles.
Walkers, wheelchairs are not cheaper. The upper price limit goes for ten thousand rubles.
Remember that it is absolutely impossible to use walkers:
- In children who do not know how to sit.
- In children with problems of tone of the lower extremities (hiccups or hypertonia).
- In children with signs of rickets.
- In children with musculoskeletal system problems.
- In children, observed by an orthopedist.
- In the presence of inflammatory changes in the area of contact with the walker’s seat.
- With obvious discomfort or not wanting a child to be in a walker.
Rules of use of the walker
- Fit a child’s shoes with hard soles to minimize improper foot adjustment.
- Adjust the height of the walker for your baby: the feet should be completely on the floor.
- Start using the walker with 3 minutes a couple of times a day and do not use it for more than 40 minutes a day.
- Do not leave the child in the walker unattended. Make sure the child does not approach the stairs or other potentially dangerous places.
- Before using a walker, it is best to consult with your pediatrician.
And finally, instead of conclusions: if you dream of a walker just to get rid of the child for a while, think again, because this is your son and it will soon leave you, so why get rid of his attention now? when he needs you so much.