Ah, strollers. They rule the sidewalk. Owning one is a must for many parents and caregivers, and figuring out which size and model fits your needs is a personal choice. But safety should also factor into your decision. When picking out the right stroller for you and your kids, keep these tips in mind.
- Pick a stroller that’s made for your kid's age, height, weight.
- To help avoid tip-overs, find a stroller with a wide base and low frame. Test it by tipping the stroller backward when you press lightly down on the handles. If it resists, it’s safe.
- Try steering the stroller in a straight line and make sure you can do so when pushing with one hand.
- Make sure the stroller has a seat belt and a harness. The 5-point harnesses is the safest and should fit snugly to keep your little one in place.
- If there's a basket for storage, check that it's in front of the back wheels.
- If you have a newborn, find a stroller that reclines or can be used with an infant-only car seat. Keep in mind, newborns need to lie almost flat in strollers since they don't have the strength to hold their heads up.
- Check out tandem models (where the children sit one behind the other) if you want a stroller for multiple kids. These are easier to maneuver and are more stable than the type where kids sit
next to each other.
- If you pick the type of stroller where the children sit next to each other, make sure there is only one footrest. Two separate footrests can be dangerous as a child's foot could get stuck between
- Before you start strolling, give the manual a read and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for use.
- Handlebars should be at your waist or slightly lower.
- To avoid pinching any tiny fingers, fold and unfold the stroller away from kids.
- Don’t forget to register your stroller with the manufacturer as soon as you buy it. That way if there’s ever a safety concern, they can contact you.
- Stay with your child at all times when in the stroller. No matter what, never leave him or her alone.
- Before you start strolling, buckle up. Make sure your child is always buckled in to prevent them from squirming and wiggling out.
- If the stroller isn’t moving, put the brakes on–even if you’re just putting your child in the stroller or taking him out. Also, make sure your child can’t reach the release lever.
- Though it can be tempting to hang your purse or diaper bag on the stroller handlebars, don't do it. Dangling straps can be a choking hazard, and the weight of the bags could cause the stroller
to topple over backwards.
How frequently are children injured from accidents in strollers and carriers? About twice an hour.
- Nationwide Children's Hospital