Summary: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is providing technical support (pdf) for voluntary standard activities to address hazards associated with baby walkers. In 1994, CPSC staff began working with ASTM to develop walker safety requirements to help prevent falls down stairs. These requirements were incorporated into ASTM F977 Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Infant Walkers in 1997.
In 1992, an estimated 25,700 children younger than 15 months of age were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with baby walkers, most from stair falls. In 2005, there were an estimated 2,600 such injuries – a reduction of nearly 90 percent. For the time period 2001-2003, there were two walker-related deaths for children under the age of 15 months reported to CPSC. These deaths were associated with walkers that did not meet the stair fall performance requirements in the revised ASTM voluntary standard.
CPSC staff is continuing to participate in activities to develop and revise requirements for ASTM F977 to address leg opening requirements, toy attachment requirements, and to refine the stair fall requirements.