Study objective: To determine the frequency of baby walker use as a contributing factor in head injuries in children less than 2 years old.
Design: Retrospective clinical review.
Setting: Urban Level I trauma center and multispecialty clinic.
Type of participants: All children less than 2 years old who were evaluated for a head injury during a three-year period.
Measurements and main results: 129 patients' cases were reviewed. Walker-related injuries occurred in 19 of 129 patients (14.7%). This represents the third most common mechanism of injury in this age group. Mean patient age at the time of injury was 8.7 months. Of the 19 accidents involving walkers, 18 (94.7%) involved falling down stairs. Nine children (47.4% of all walker-related injuries) suffered fractures of the cranial vault. No patients required surgical intervention, although one required treatment for post-traumatic meningitis.
Conclusion: Baby walkers continue to be a frequent cause of head injury in this age group, and further efforts must be made to deal with these preventable injuries.