Objective: To identify the source of acquisition of infant walkers and attitudes regarding the continuing use of walkers following an injury to an infant in order to design preventive strategies.
Design: Descriptive and retrospective.
Setting: Emergency department of a children's hospital involved in primary, secondary and tertiary care.
Patients: All patients presenting with injuries associated with infant walkers over a 42-month period.
Main outcome measures: Source of acquisition of infant walker and actions taken after the injury.
Results: The demographic and outcome data of the 36 patients were similar to previous reports. The caretakers of 26 patients were reached by telephone. Eight walkers were purchased in the United States and 18 were second-hand acquisitions (new walkers are not available for sale in Canada). Only two families continued using their walkers in the same fashion as prior to the injury.
Conclusions: Although new infant walkers are not sold in Canada, injuries associated with their use continue. An aggressive public education campaign discouraging infant walker use and an incentive driven recall campaign to retrieve circulating walkers are seen as complimentary preventive strategies. A similar approach should be considered in other countries that choose to regulate infant walkers.