December 1983

Infant Walkers and Cerebral Palsy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Holm) and Rehabilitation Medicine (Ms Tada), Child Development and Mental Retardation Center, University of Washington, Seattle; and the Easter Seal Childrens Clinic and Preschool, Seattle (Ms Harthun-Smith).

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(12):1189-1190. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140380049016

• We studied a 1-year-old infant with spastic cerebral palsy in its early stage. An infant walker was used by the mother to amuse the infant, but the walker was observed to produce a positive support reflex, perpetuating a primitive reflex that should fade during the first year of life. The walker also prevented the infant from practicing equilibrium reactions and protective responses that should be developing during this age. Positions assumed by the infant in the walker contribute to the development of common adverse sequelae of spastic cerebral palsy: heel cord contractures, sublocations and dislocations of the hips, and pronation contractures of the upper extremities.

(Am J Dis Child 1983;137:1189-1190)