I was out with my family and I witnessed a woman pushing a stroller which then tipped backwards completely falling to the ground, with a child inside of it. Luckily for them, the child was not hurt badly but it got me thinking. We put a lot of time into thinking about what products are the safest for our kids, but when it comes down to it, some of the most mundane things in life can be just as dangerous.
You would never think of a stroller as being a safety hazard but if used improperly it can certainly be a threat. There is also the issue of stroller recalls. You might remember a recall of Maclaren strollers not long ago that mentioned the hinges of the stroller having the possibility of severing fingers. They have of course, since then, provided a fix and have redesigned that portion of their strollers but I still see the recalled versions out and about. Here is a list of standard stroller safety tips to keep in mind when both purchasing a stroller and when using your current one…. there are a lot of things to keep in mind but this is a few basics:
- Don’t hang or overload strollers with diaper bags and shopping bags. As I mentioned above, the stroller can tip backwards and cause injury to your child. Use the basket area underneath the stroller. When shopping for a stroller, choose one that offers a larger under storage area that is accessible. If you’re using an umbrella style stroller, avoid hanging heavy bags from it. There are those mommy helper clips for hanging bags on your stroller – I think they’re a bad idea and encourage you to overload your stroller with stuff. Save those for the grocery cart.
- Use the straps and and buckles as intended and make sure the child is the appropriate weight for the stroller.
- When folding or unfolding your stroller, do so without your kids nearby so you can avoid pinched fingers or hands. I’ve pinched my own hand trying to fold up strollers so imagine what it would do to a tiny one.
- Never leave a child unattended in any stroller, even if sleeping. Kids can get antsy and try to climb out or unbuckle themselves when you aren’t looking, resulting in falls and injuries.
- Double strollers: whether they are a stacked type or a side by side – be careful when there is only one child in them. They can become unbalanced and tip.
- Keep up on childrens product recalls and return the warranty card your stroller comes with so you will be notified in the event of a recall. People often toss this information out. Send them in!
It seems silly and obvious but after witnessing that child’s stroller tip backwards I thought it would be nice to remind people that strollers can be dangerous if not properly used.
Resources for stroller safety and stroller buying tips:
March Of Dimes Stroller Safety for Baby “Always use the parking brake when the stroller is stopped.”
ConsumerReports.org “Don’t jog with a stroller that’s not a jogging stroller or an all-terrain stroller not recommended for jogging.”
Dr Spock Practical Stroller Safety Tips “Never leave your child in the stroller behind a parked car. The reason is obvious if you stop to think about it. Always keep your child’s stroller right next to you while you’re getting out your keys and unlocking the car door, and buckle her into her car seat before dealing with groceries, packages, etc.”
Parenting Ideas Stroller Safety Tips “Check your stroller to make sure it is completely opened and in the locked position before putting your child in it. A good habit to get into is pushing down on the seat with your hand to make sure it safe for your child.”