Exercise Jumpers should be avoided, experts warn
Best alternative Baby & Toddler Safe Products:
- Safety tested baby swings
- Safety Tested activity tables where the baby can learn from kinaesthetic play time
- Floor time. Floor time is a far better option to help babies learn to roll, sit up and crawl.
- Once they can stand unaided, The safety tested Arc Assistant Learning Tower
Kidsafe chief executive Holly Fitzgerald said floor time was "the best thing parents can do to help their baby's development" where they can learn to roll, sit up and crawl.
Australian Physiotherapy Association national president Phil Calvert* said there are lots of parents who think exercise jumpers help their child develop quicker. But in fact they do the opposite.
(*Calvert has over 20 years experience working in senior roles in paediatric physiotherapy. Calvert's clinical areas of particular interest include musculoskeletal and sports injuries, children’s pain, developmental conditions and rheumatology conditions in children).
Some babies are suffering from tightened calf muscles because of the exercise jumpers and need plaster casts, which have to be changed every week for up to eight weeks, followed by surgery if required.
"Being in plaster cast for a period of time also has a developmental effect that we'd rather avoid"
Key Take Outs:
- Clinical experts discourage parents from buying exercise jumpers
- They can cause developmental delays and injuries
- There are many safe alternative options, as cited above
SA Health deputy chief medical officer Dr Nicola Spurrier said it was not uncommon to see babies and children with developmental delays associated with baby exercise jumpers.
"Excessive time in jumpers teaches babies to stand up on their tip toes, causing their calf muscles to tighten and affecting their ability to walk, and in some cases requiring treatment with casting or surgery," Dr Spurrier said.
"Babies miss out on valuable floor time when spending too much time in jumpers, bypassing important development stages such as rolling and crawling."
Clinical experts are endorsing the use of The Arc Assistant Learning Tower, as a key developmental support furniture item for parents to start using with their child as soon as they can confidently stand un-aided.
Featured above, Nathan Wallis, Neuroscience Educator and Mr 12 months.
The Arc Assistant Learning Tower, unlike most other Learning Towers in New Zealand has been rigorously safety tested (see more here) and facilitates hours and hours and hours of extra face to face time with parents and carers. Face to face time is crucial during a child's first 1000 days as the more face to face time a child experiences during this time, the better their young brains develop and the better their outcomes later in life.