Small sized treadmill helps babies learn to walk, step by step

Aug 10, 2011
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Kinesiologist Dale Ulrich at the University of Michigan and his team have developed a small treadmill that they use in a program designed to help babies with Down Syndrome to learn how to walk.

Typically developing children learn to walk around the age of 12 months, but babies with Down Syndrome often learn to walk between 24 and 28 months- a full year later. Learning to walk earlier helps advance cognitive development, social skill development and language. So getting children with Down Syndrome up and walking earlier, will open the world of development to them as much as six months earlier. The U of Michigan Kinesiologist has created a small treadmill to assist in the process.

Beginning at about the age of 8 to 10 months, babies can begin to exercise for about 8 minutes per day on the little treadmill, supported by the protective arms of their parents.  One mother reported that her daughter loved the exercise, soon began to stand a lot longer on her own every day, learned to balance herself, and rapidly progressed to taking steps on her own.

For more information:

Website information and a short video show Dr. Dale Ulrich, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor assisting a baby in the exercise in his laboratory at http://www.legacy.kines.umich.edu/research/cmbpd/index.html

Author: Tanya