Canada became the first country in the world to ban the sale, advertising and import of baby walkers on Wednesday, saying too many children were being injured by the devices.
Baby walkers, also called infant walkers, are much like a chair on wheels, designed for use by small children who are able to sit up but not yet able to walk on their own. Children sit in the walker and propel themselves along with their feet.
“Health Canada has determined that these children do not have the necessary skills, reflexes or cognitive abilities to safely make use of these products,” the health ministry said in a statement.
“Typically, incidents linked to baby walkers involve head injuries that result from falls down stairs,” it added, advising parents with the devices to dispose of them.
Canadian retailers have imposed a voluntary ban on the sale of baby walkers since 1989 but the health ministry said more and more were being imported.
“Canadians must know about the dangers posed to infants through the use of baby walkers ... I am pleased to announce that Canada is the first country in the world to ban the sale of these products,” said Health Minister Pierre Pettigrew.
The ban also applies to the sale of baby walkers as second-hand items at flea markets or garage sales.