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January 1985

Infant Walkers and Cerebral Palsy-Reply

Author Affiliations

Child Development and Mental Retardation Center, WJ-10 University of Washington Seattle, WA 98195
Easter Seals Childrens Clinic and Pre-School 1850 Boyer Ave E Seattle, WA 98112

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140030013011

In Reply.—We agree with Dr Bachman that the effect of infant walkers on children with cerebral palsy might be the object of a legitimate study, and disagree with those who say it should not be.1 However, priority for study of outcome in cerebral palsy, a deplorably understudied field, is given to procedures that clinical experience has indicated are beneficial, eg, inhibitive casting. Ethics prevent most medical professionals from researching procedures that they consider potentially harmful. One might be hard pressed to find experienced clinicians who are willing to undertake even one-subject-study-design research into the effects of infant walkers on the quality of gait (after all, the goal is for the child to ultimately walk better, not necessarily sooner) in children with cerebral palsy.

Articles on clinical experience have a low priority both for writers and editors. However, we felt that our "knowledge" that infant walkers work in contradiction to therapy