Crawling is an important developmental stage that all growing babies have to go through. “It is through crawling that they learn how to walk. It’s a process,” says Mary Grace Padilla, M.D., DPPS, a pediatrician who holds clinic at Bethany Hospital in San Fernando City, La Union.
“It’s a step-by-step process. Usually, a baby starts to crawl between seven and 10 months. By the 10th month, he could already stand by himself, and at one year old, he could already be walking,” she estimates.
But apparently, crawling also puts your little one’s physical safety and health in jeopardy, in two ways. First, with it comes the possibility of accidents, according to Dr. Padilla. “The baby may get off-balance and knock his head on the floor, resulting to head bumps or bukol,” she explains. She also reminds that babies don’t only crawl on the floors, but also on the stairs, beds, and sofas which can be very dangerous. There’s also the danger of choking when the baby starts to pick up things he sees on the floor and put it in his mouth. Choking, as you may be aware, can lead to death.
Second, crawling on floors can also bring about illnesses to your baby through their hands and feet. “They can pick up germs, like E. coli, which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, and other illnesses such as intestinal parasitism caused by bacteria,” she says. And just because you don’t see any visible dirt does not mean that your baby is safe. Most illness-causing germs and bacteria can only be seen under a microscope.
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According to the website of the University of Maryland Medical Center, transmission of intestinal parasites happens when a person comes in contact with “infected feces.” Some of the symptoms associated with it includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, gas or bloating, and loose tools with mucus and blood, among other things. However, these parasites can also inhabit the intestines for years without showing any symptoms at all, according to the website.