Are walking rings safe?
Are these contraptions completely harmless or plastic death traps?
Baby in a walking ring (Shutterstock)
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When your little one starts moving around more and more, a walking ring may seem like a really good idea. Especially when it's so difficult to keep them in one spot for any amount of time.

Unfortunately there are many things to consider when wanting to use a walking ring for your baby. Here are a few of the pros and cons you need to take into account.

Pros

• Walking rings generally have some really cute and educational toys attached to them which are great for keeping your baby busy and helping them learn. 

• Putting baby in a walking ring is usually a quick fix for when you desperately need to use both of your hands but your baby simply refuses to be left on the floor. 

• A mobile baby is a happy baby and your little one can keep themselves busy for ages.

Cons

• Unfortunately walking rings can be very dangerous. If they're near stairs, a small step or even an electrical cord, the chances of the walking ring wheels catching or locking are high. This means your baby could easily get a nasty bash to the skull which would result in a trip to the hospital.

• Most walking rings are created with the most basic of wheels that only really work on flat surfaces. They can very easily stick, hook or break.

• Extensive use of a walking ring can actually delay walking. It can force your child to bear more weight on his legs than he should at this stage and it deprives him from exploring his environment with his hands. This can also cause "walking confusion" as different body parts and movements are used for walking than what is used in a walking ring.

• Standing, falling and getting back up is very important for your baby's development. This can be stunted by the use of a walking ring.

• While your baby may be happy while being mobile, this also puts them at a new height level which could mean your little one reaches and touches places they normally couldn't and this could result in cuts or burns.

• Foldable walking rings stand the chance of being faulty and hurting your child if the folding mechanism fails while your child is in the walking ring.

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