Aim: To determine in an urban population in Turkey, the frequency of baby walker (BW) use, beliefs and attitudes of mothers regarding BWs, frequency of BW-related injuries and whether families receive counselling from their paediatricians about BWs or not.
Methods: Children aged 2 months to 5 years who attended the well-child care clinics of Fatih University Hospital in Ankara comprised the sample. A semi-structured questionnaire was verbally administered.
Results: Of 495 children, 75.4% was found to use BW. Female gender [odds ratio (OR) = 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) =1.19-2.78) and lower maternal education (OR = 0.37, 95% CI = 1.18-0.74) were found to be associated with BW use. Frequencies of injuries associated with BWs were low (7.8%). Only 92 (18.6%) families received appropriate counselling by their paediatricians.
Conclusion: The results of our study show that BW use is common in urban Turkey. Families are not informed about the lack of benefits and potential hazards of BWs and base reasons of using and not using on unique cultural beliefs rather than informed, evidence-based decisions. Paediatricians in Turkey and potentially other countries require information about the need for counselling families about the hazards associated with BW use.