Baby on board! From car seats and cribs to monitors and toys, becoming a parent can sometimes be overwhelming as you decide the best products and tools for you and baby.
Strollers are no different and become essential as you and your family are on the move. With so many brands, features, and price ranges, it is easy to lose sight of safety.
When shopping for and using a stroller, consider these key tips to ensure a smooth and safe ride for your little one.
Type of Stroller
Searching for the right stroller doesn’t need to be exhausting. Simply consider your family’s needs and ask yourself
- Do you plan on using the stroller outside?
- Would a double stroller benefit your older children?
- Do you need a storage basket?
- How portable do you need the stroller to be for travel?
- Is the stroller compatible with other items such as your car seat?
These questions will allow you to figure out the size, durability, and accessories needed for the perfect stroller.
Key Safety Features
While style and portability are important, key safety features must be considered before purchasing a stroller.
- Brakes: Look for strollers that have easy-to-operate brakes that lock within the wheels, not based on pressure. It is important to know that some strollers have the brake lever easily accessible for the child. Evaluate where the lever sits before making a purchase.
- Base Size: A wide base means stability. Don’t pick a stroller based on how sleek or slim it looks. The wider base makes a stroller more secure and less likely to tip over.
- Footrest: Avoid any type of feature that can easily trap small hands or feet. This happens often with strollers that have separate footrests. A single footrest that extends across the entire stroller is best.
- Reclining: Newborns must be placed in a stroller that reclines to support their heads and necks. Most jogging strollers aren’t designed for this type of support.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, strollers are among the top nursery products to cause injuries. In 2018, over 7,000 stroller related accidents were treated by emergency care to children under five. The best way to avoid injuries is by understanding these stroller safety tips:
- Buckle Up: Children and even newborns move around and can slip out of a stroller. Always use the seat belts and harnesses provided and make sure your child is always buckled.
- Proper Storage: Utilize the storage compartment of the stroller for your diaper bag or personal items, but never hang items from the handles. This can cause the stroller to tip.
- Weight Limits: All strollers have weight limits. Exceeding the set limits can cause the stroller to become unstable.
- Careful Folding: Always watch for small fingers and hands when folding up your stroller. The hinges are easy for pinching!
- Avoid Direct Sunlight: Be mindful of the heat and sun even if the stroller features a sunshade. The plastic and metal pieces of your stroller can get hot and cause burns. When parking the stroller, avoid the direct sunlight and watch for overheating.
- Check for Recalls: Review Consumer Protection Safety Committee reports on recalled products before making a purchase. After purchasing your stroller, register it with the manufacturer. They will notify you immediately of any recalls or defects.
Remember, stroller safety starts with you! By knowing the keys features to look for in a stroller and understanding how to safely use it with your newborn or toddler, you are well on your way to enjoying moments on the go.