Babies love bouncing, but unlike an exersaucer, which doesn't change location or rely on straps, the seat of an infant jumper attaches to the top of a doorway with long straps and springs that allow the baby to bounce. A giggling infant happily bouncing in his jumper belies the safety issues associated with this product. Always check product recall updates before purchasing any device for your infant, or accepting and hand-me-down.
Weak clamps that don't properly attach the jumper straps to the doorway can cause the entire jumper, and the baby inside, to fall to the floor. Considering the additional force a baby applies when jumping, the fall could easily be several feet sideways in either direction if one of the clamps snapped loose. Even if the clamps were secure, as infants start bouncing more forcefully, they're at risk of loosening the safety harness straps designed to keep them in place.
Infants love poking their curious fingers almost anyplace, including the spring coils attached to the jumper snaps. And, while cloth sleeves over the springs might be an effective deterrent for a 5-month-old infant, the inquisitive hands of a 9 or 10 month-old baby can easily push this movable cloth out of the way and pinch skin or fingers in the springs. Once the spring is exposed, loose pieces of clothing and wisps of delicate baby hair can also become painfully trapped inside.
Position and Proximity Hazards
Jumpers let infants bounce in any direction without boundaries. This becomes especially dangerous as infants grow stronger and start bouncing more forcefully -- and in different directions, potentially slamming into walls, doorways, table edges or something even more hazardous like a radiator, oven or fireplace. What's more, many baby jumpers not only allow your baby to bounce, but the long straps or springs allow him to swing. As he becomes stronger, the combined momentum from swinging while bouncing makes the exterior hazards even more dangerous.
Given how much babies love bouncing in jumpers, it can be tempting to let them sit a jumper for several 20-minute periods a day. One developmental risk, however, is that bouncing up and down, often on tippy-toe, doesn't mimic the motions of walking or even standing, reports the San Diego Children's Hospital. Additionally infant jumpers don't strengthen muscles in the core or torso as does crawling or tummy time. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Safety Commission, this is why it's best to limit infants' time in a jumper to no more than 15 minutes per day.
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