Health Canada

Health Canada

June 10, 2007 12:26 ET

Health Canada: Canada's New Government Accepts Recommendation of Baby Walker Board of Review Upholding the Product Ban

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 10, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today made public the report of the Board of Review Inquiring into the Nature and Characteristics of Baby Walkers and announced his acceptance of the Board's recommendation to uphold the ban, thereby continuing the prohibition concerning the advertising, sale and importation of baby walkers.

The Minister thanked the members of the Board of Review: Jean-Claude Demers, Q.C., (Chair); Dr. Geoffrey Dougherty; and Dr. Jocelyn Pedder. "The thorough and competent work done by the Board must be commended," said Mr. Clement. "This work re-confirms Canada's position as a leader in child safety. Canadians can take comfort and pride in the quality of the work being done in the area of child safety."

In March, 2004, Canada became the first, and to date the only, country in the world to ban baby walkers. This prohibition was implemented for infant safety reasons and was based on analysis of injury data and laboratory testing of products.

The provisions of the Hazardous Products Act were employed to put in place the prohibition; however, under the provisions of the same legislation, a distributor of baby walkers requested that the Minister of Health establish a board of review to inquire into the nature and characteristics of baby walkers. In June 2006, the Board of Review was established and convened its formal hearings in Ottawa during December of 2006.

In addition to its recommendation that the original ban on baby walkers be upheld, the Board concluded that Health Canada had, in its decision-making on the product "led and managed a methodical, comprehensive and objective review of all aspects of baby walkers."

Baby walkers, also called infant walkers, are designed for use by children who are able to sit up, but not yet able to walk on their own. Health Canada had determined that children in this age group do not have the necessary skills, reflexes or cognitive abilities to safely make use of these products. Typically, incidents linked to baby walkers involve head injuries that result from falls down stairs. Other injuries, however, occur when the child in the baby walker is able to reach dangerous objects that are otherwise inaccessible.

The report overview is available on the Health Canada Web site at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/child-enfant/equip/walk-marche/overview-apercu_e.html.

A full copy of the report is available by contacting Helene Paradis at (613) 941-6533.

The website for the Board of Review is located at http://www.babywalkers-marchettes.ca/

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Contact Information

  • Media Enquiries:
    Health Canada
    Renee Bergeron
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    or
    Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
    Federal Minister of Health
    Erik Waddell
    613-957-0200
    or
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