Only in Canada, eh. Baby walkers are banned in Canada. Seriously, they really are. Not only are they banned, but the penalties for owning and the sale and distribution of them are severely harsh, even for private homes, lawn sales and flea markets. But the ban got me thinking. Why are baby walkers banned in Canada? They are used the world over, and babies certainly enjoy using them. They don’t look all that criminal, and they certainly aren’t addictive. I even used them for my own children, which I guess makes me relieved that I’m not Canadian.
If you don’t know what a baby walker is, it’s a device that allows babies that can’t walk yet to get mobile. They consist of a sling that holds the baby up in a frame that has wheels on it. 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.
As with most bans imposed by governments, it’s normally about safety. 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. When it comes to baby walkers though, they were banned because of the dangers they pose to the babies using them, and a failure for self regulation within the retail community in the country. Now what kind of hazards can they possibly present a babbling baby?
If you buy a walker for your baby you will, or should notice the warning attached to it. You are warned about several safety issues that they pose. Firstly they place the baby at a higher level, making it easier for them to reach dangerous items. As all parents know, if a baby shouldn’t have something it will be the first thing that they want to get. But these kind of risks are rarer that the most common injuries associated with the walker. 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 they couldn’t previously). So what causes these injuries?
As we have already said, as the baby is sitting in a sling they are higher. 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. Another injury associated with them is the walker collapsing on itself, with the baby inside. This can result in all kinds of injury, from crushing and pinching to fractures. So what are the penalties for breaking this law?
OK, so baby walkers are banned in Canada, but what happens if you decide to sell one and get caught? 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. Why that much? That’s the amount of money you will need to pay the fine. It’s $100,000! That’s right. 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.
So if you are in Canada and want your baby to be mobile, screw the walkers. Let them get there naturally.