Democratic state Senator Linda Greenstein proposed a bill that would slap a $10,000 fine on anyone selling baby walkers in the state as well as allowing police officers to confiscate the devices.
She claims that baby walkers are unsafe, citing studies like this one from 2018 which found that over 230,000 children under the age of 15 months visited emergency rooms due to walker-related injuries between 1990 and 2014.
According to the same study, of the children who were actually admitted, almost four in 10 suffered from a skull fracture caused by falling in the baby walker.
“I believe and apparently doctors believe that these are inherently dangerous objects,” Greenstein told News12 New Jersey. “Even if you take your eyes off a baby, an infant, for a couple of seconds there can be an accident.”
Greenstein’s proposed ban is something that even the American Academy of Pediatrics has been advocating for nearly 30 years, issuing numerous warnings to parents about the dangers of the aids, particularly if left unsupervised.
“If you get to a staircase you can tumble down, and many babies have,” Greenstein said to Nj.com. “If you get to a swimming pool, you can tumble in…you can hurt yourself in many different ways.”
And despite manufacturer improvements to many baby walkers (like brakes and larger frames that can’t fit through doors), Greenstein says it’s not enough. She told News12, “There’s nothing you can do to make them safe enough. And it’s the responsibility of government to protect the most vulnerable.”
The bill, if passed, would make New Jersey the first state in the U.S. to ban baby walkers (they’ve currently been banned in Canada since 2004).