Objective: To evaluate the effect of baby walker (BW) use
on child development.
Methods: The study was conducted in İstanbul University
İstanbul Medical Faculty Social Pediatric Outpatient Clinic.
Children aged 18-30 months who used BW for 30 minutes
or more a day for at least 1 month constituted the user
group (n = 100) and those who never used a BW were in the
control group (n = 100). Information was obtained through
the personal health record of the unit and by a face-to-face
questionnaire applied to the families during their visits to the
unit. The Ankara Development Screening Inventory (ADSI)
was used to assess language-cognitive, motor and mental
development. Sitting without support and independent
walking age and four measures (history and physical,
neurological and orthopedic examinations) of gait disorders
were evaluated in relation to child development.
Results: There was no developmental problem in any
of the children, but there was a statistically significant
difference in terms of an atypical gait pattern between the
two groups Atypical gait pattern and especially toe-walking
were more frequent in children who used BW. The accident
rate in BW users was also significantly higher than those
who did not use BW. The most common reasons for BW
use were keeping the child occupied and improving his/her
Conclusion: The use of BW should be considered while
evaluating toe-walking in children. To convince families in
avoiding use of BW, they need to be informed that it has no
positive influence on motor development but carries a risk
for accidents and toe walking. This information should be
part of the parent education offered in Well Child Clinics.