Buying a stroller or pram - Safety tips for parents
When looking at strollers for your baby, there are certain things you should take into consideration:
Your family. If you have twins or an older child, you might consider getting a double stroller or a stroller with an attachment that allows your older child to stand or sit in the rear. If you're planning to use an attachment for your older child, be sure to read the manufacturer's weight guidelines.
Your lifestyle. Frequent travellers might want a collapsible umbrella stroller — either in addition to a sturdier stroller or as the primary stroller. An umbrella stroller can also be useful when running errands. If you are an active mom who regularly goes for long walks over rough terrain – make sure the wheels can handle it.
Your transport. You need to look for a stroller that's easy to fold and fits into the boot of your vehicle.
Accessories. Do you want your baby's stroller to have certain features or accessories, such as a storage basket, rain cover, sun shade or even a cup holder? Often, accessories are sold separately and some older strollers aren't compatible with new accessories.
You might also consider checking for certain safety features, like:
Practical brakes. Look for a stroller that has brakes that are easy to operate. Some strollers have brakes that lock two wheels — a special safety feature. Make sure your baby can't reach the brake release lever.
A wide base. Strollers that have wide bases are less likely to tip over.
A single footrest. If you're looking for a side-by-side double stroller, choose one with a single footrest that extends across both sitting areas. Small feet can get trapped between separate footrests.
If you are shopping for a new pram or stroller, make sure that the one you plan to buy has all these features.
Remember it's not enough to simply buy a pram or stroller that has all the required safety features; you also need to use them.
Tips for safe use of a pram or stroller
Stay close. Don't leave your baby unattended in his or her stroller. Don’t leave your child sleeping unsupervised in a pram or stroller, especially if they are not restrained by the harness.
Buckle up. Always buckle your baby's harness and seat belt when taking him or her for a stroller ride. It’s tempting to skip this at times especially when you are in a hurry and will only have them in it for a few minutes - but it is there for a reason.
Be careful with toys. If you hang toys from a stroller bumper bar to entertain your baby, make sure that the toys are securely fastened. If you hand your baby a soft toy while they are riding happily along, just be aware that a thrown toy could easily end up under a wheel – upsetting the cart so to speak.
Use your brakes. Engage your stroller brakes whenever you stop the stroller. Never take your hand off it in any way - a sudden lurch from little one could still topple it.
Properly store belongings. Don't hang a bag from the stroller's handle bar, which can make a stroller tip over if it is too heavy. Where possible, place items in the stroller basket.
Take caution when folding and unfolding. Keep your baby away from the stroller as you open and close it, since small fingers can get caught in stroller hinges. Always make sure the stroller is locked in its open position before you put your child in it.
Keep it out of the sun. Don't let your baby's stroller sit in the sun for long periods of time. This can cause plastic and metal pieces to become hot enough to burn your baby. If you do leave the stroller in the sun, check the stroller's surface temperature before placing your baby in the stroller.
Check for recalls. Be sure to return the stroller warranty card so that you'll be notified in case of a recall. If you're considering a used stroller for your baby, make sure the stroller hasn't been recalled.