Tips for Buying a Safe Stroller
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently approved new federal mandatory safety standards for strollers and carriages, and these new standards took effect late last year. The CPSC received almost 1,300 incident reports that related to strollers or carriages between 2008 and 2013. Four of those reports involved a fatality. The new CPSC standards addressed the following issues: broken wheels, stroller head entrapment, locking mechanism problems, parking brake failures, restraint breakage or detachment, child unbuckling the restraint, and hinge issues (amputations and pinching).
Follow these safety guidelines for strollers:
- Choose a stroller that has a wide base. You don’t want it to tip over.
- Your stroller should have a seat belt and a harness. Make sure you use the seat belt and harness each time your child goes for a ride in his/her stroller. For infants, you can use rolled-up baby blankets as bumpers that you place on either side of the seat.
- Whenever you use bumpers in your stroller (or if you’re stringing toys across it) make certain you fasten them securely so there is no chance they’ll fall on top of your baby. Remove toys as soon as your infant can sit or get on all fours.
- Your stroller should have brakes that are easy to operate.Be certain to use the brake every time you stop. Also be certain that your child can’t reach the brake release lever. A brake that locks two wheels provides an extra level of safety.
- Avoid having items from the handles of your stroller. This can make strollers tip backward. If your stroller has a basket that is made for carrying things, make certain it is placed low and towards the rear wheels.
- Children’s fingers can become caught in the hinges that fold the stroller. Be sure you keep your child at a safe distance whenever you open or close your stroller. Always make certain that the stroller is securely locked open before placing your child in it.
- Never leave your child unattended in a stroller.
- If you purchased a side-by-side twin stroller, be certain that the footrest extends all the way across both sitting areas. Be mindful that a child’s foot can become trapped between separate footrests.
- There are also strollers that allow an older child to sit or stand in the rear.It’s important to always be mindful of the weight guidelines and to be extremely careful that the child in the back isn’t tipping the stroller.