Stroller Safety: Choosing Your Stroller Wisely
For new parents, stroller safety is a must. After all, your baby is going to spend a lot of time in whatever wheeled device you choose. It’s important to know what you’re looking for. In fact, the majority of stroller-related accidents result from falls.
According to a 2016 survey published in Academic Pediatrics, an average of 17,000 children are injured every year from strollers and baby carriers. Roughly two-thirds of the kids were hurt when they fell out of the devices. This information about stroller safety carries even more weight today. Since the start of 2020, there have already been four high-profile stroller product recalls.
Stroller Safety Starts with an Informed Buyer
When it comes to stroller safety, you’ll need to find the right product for your life. This means you’ll need to do some research before buying. After all, strollers are not one-size-fits-all. Above all, the stroller you choose must fit your needs. Additionally, you and your child must be comfortable with your stroller.
Research and forethought is required. This means watching videos, reading reviews and becoming as educated as possible. If you have the opportunity, try out the stroller in the store. The best way to measure comfort and stroller safety is with hands-on practice.
Consider Your Child’s Age
When it comes to stroller safety, you’ll want to keep your child’s age in mind. For newborns, there may be special concerns to take into account, including extra head and neck support. For older children, be sure to check the stroller’s weight limit. If your child is over 35 pounds, most strollers will not be sufficient. If you’re shopping in a retail store, ask for help from an associate. They may have valuable information about individual brands and models.
Consider How You Will be Using the Stroller:
Do you often travel in the car?
If you’ll be driving with the child a lot, you may want a carrier system. The seating portion on this type of stroller can be removed and used as a car seat. We’ve addressed child car seat safety in the past, and many of those lessons also apply here. An all-in-one system like this can really help to make traveling easier. It’s one less component to pack. That said, these all-in-one combination seats tend to be larger and heavier, so keep that in mind.
Traveling in the city?
For parents who don’t rely on the car so much, a lighter stroller may be key. These are compact and can be easily stowed away without taking up much room. They are perfect for city-dwellers or folks that are low on storage space.
Plan to go jogging?
If you’re looking to keep fit with your child at hand, a jogging stroller is an excellent choice. These are built for a more rugged, all-terrain use. Just be aware that most of these exercise-enabling strollers are not designed for kids under six months of age. For maximum stroller safety, wait until the baby is over a year old before using a jogging stroller.
Now that you know how you’ll be using your stroller, let’s talk some more about stroller safety.
Listen for the Click
For most folding strollers, there is a locking mechanism that produces and audible click. This click should indicate that the stroller is securely opened and ready to support the child. Be sure to keep your child away from the stroller while you’re preparing it. Much like how little fingers can get pinched in closing doors, an unsecure stroller can cause injuries.
Always Properly Use Restraints
Just like the product recalls for baby sleepers we’ve mentioned in the past, it is always important to fully strap your child into their stroller. That means shoulder straps and harness must both be worn. Follow the safety instructions for your particular model of stroller to the letter. Sure, they may fuss, but failure to properly secure them can result in the baby getting loose, falling out or being strangled.
Recent Certification and Recalls
On the whole, all strollers sold in the US must comply with the mandatory federal safety standards. That said, accidents can and often happen. As we mentioned above, there have already been four high-profile stroller product recalls in 2020 alone. These are listed below, but parents are encouraged to keep a close eye on future product recalls as well.
For stroller safety and beyond, it pays to know the status of any potentially dangerous products in your home. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for some of these updates as well.
Now that you know what to look for when it comes to features and dangers, here are a few more best practices:
- Don’t take a stroller with a child in it onto an escalator. This can be extremely dangerous for a number of reasons. Instead, look for an elevator. If there is no other option, remove your child and carry the collapsed stroller separately. It is time consuming, but it can easily prevent serious injury.
- Don’t hang heavy objects off the stroller’s handles. These can tip the carrier and injury your baby. It’s just not worth the risk.