Baby walkers (BWs) are a consumer product frequently associated with infant injuries. With little research in the Middle East and few population studies anywhere, female students in grade 12 in the United Arab Emirates were surveyed, assessing the prevalence of use, perceived safety, and interventions. The study population included grade-12 students in a large UAE city. Multistage random sampling selected 4/8 female Arab government schools and 3 classes each from science and arts tracks for interview by self-administered questionnaire. Response was 100%, with a total of 696 students, 55% (n = 385) of whom were Emirati citizens; 90% (n = 619) of the families used/had used BWs. Among the reasons for use, 92% reported "keeping baby safe," with 11% perceiving BWs as very safe and 74% as moderately safe. Only 16% perceived that BWs could cause injuries. Despite causing many injuries, including fatalities, BWs were perceived to be safe and used by nearly all families. Effective education of professionals, patients, the public, and decision makers is needed. Governments should consider countermeasures such as prohibiting importation, sales, and advertising, together with public education and provision of stationary activity centers.
- baby walker
- child injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health