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Physiotherapists call for campaign to ban baby walkers

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

Chartered physiotherapists are to use their Annual Representatives Conference, 4-6 May, to call on the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to lead a campaign to ban baby walkers.

Over 300 chartered physiotherapists will gather in Eastbourne for the conference, which is to be addressed by health minister, Lord Philip Hunt, and Andrew Foster of the NHS Confederation. Among the motions to be debated will be a call from the Welsh Stewards for the baby walker campaign.

Speaking on behalf of the Welsh Stewards who have proposed the motion, physiotherapist Lynda Rowe said: 'The CSP has already highlighted the potential dangers of baby walkers, both in the media and amongst MPs. New research from the USA has shown that the use of baby walkers can interfere with babies' development of visual-motor skills and also deprive them of the learning opportunities afforded by exploration.

'Baby walkers are also responsible for injury to an estimated 4,000 babies every year in the UK alone. These include burns, grazes and head injuries.

'Parents buy the baby walkers because they believe that they will keep their children safe and help them to learn to walk. Chartered physiotherapists know that this is not the case and we are calling on the CSP to join forces with other health organisations to launch a campaign to have them banned.'

Other motions for debate include the increasing financial burdens on physiotherapy students, violence against women, increasing the number of black and minority members of the profession, and promoting the role of the physiotherapist as a way of reducing orthopaedic waiting lists.

The conference starts at 1.30pm on Thursday 4 May and closes at 1pm on Saturday 6 May. It takes place at the Devonshire Park Centre, Eastbourne.

Ends

Notes to editors

1. Physiotherapy is the fourth largest health profession in the country and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 35,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.

For more information, please contact the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616 / 28

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