prams and strollers

Safety Guide to Using Prams and Strollers

10 November 2022
Posted by: Chelsea

Prams and strollers don’t usually give rise to significant safety issues but a little caution is always sensible.

Safety Guide to Using Prams and Strollers

Here’s a quick safety guide to using prams and strollers.

Acquisition

When considering a pram, there are a few basic starter steps:

  • research the market for the brands and models with the best reviews. Look for products that have plenty of positive feedback and be cautious about those that have great reviews but only a few of them;
  • only consider products that carry Australia’s official pram safety accreditation – the AS/NZS 2088 label;
  • make sure that the item has a five-point safety harness system and a tether cable of some sort;
  • it should have firmly-locking breaks that would be inoperable for a child;
  • it must be appropriate for the age, weight and maturity of your child. Many prams are expensive and therefore you’ll naturally wish to consider how capable it is of expansion as your child grows but don’t take that too far. Prams and strollers that are far too large for a child can be dangerous;
  • try to check that it not only looks robust but feels it too. Prams going up-and-down kerbs and over bumps tend to take a fair bit of wear and tear and you’ll want to ensure they’re tough enough to cope;
  • be certain that the folding points in the frame are capable of being secured by strong locking mechanisms when it’s in use;
  • overall, don’t be too swayed by trendy brands and concentrate on the above basics. It might pay to spend a few more dollars on a stronger one even if it doesn’t have that very fashionable label.

Uses

User-related accidents with prams and strollers are fairly rare but they do happen.

Most of these problems arise in a relatively small number of circumstances:

  • remember that your pram or stroller is designed to carry a child or children. Although some may have some minor carrying space in addition, that is usually token and underneath. So, do not overload your pram by placing heavy weights at one end of it (e.g., full and heavy shopping bags) over the handles;
  • always apply the brakes when stopped and particularly so if you’re on an incline. Some prams might have an auto-brake feature too;
  • make sure the locking points are fully locked when you’re unfolding the pram. Children have been seriously injured when a pram has collapsed in use due to these locks not being on;
  • prams should be considered mini vehicles. Therefore, be careful when turning blind corners;
  • watch out on road crossings. You might need to go a metre or two forward to see if the road is clear but remember the pram is projecting in front of you meaning your baby might see the danger before you do;
  • tether the pram to your body. It’s insurance against the runaway pram danger that may sound like an ancient slapstick movie routine but which, in reality, is very real and something that has led to serious injuries and tragically deaths;
  • park the pram parallel to roads or railway tracks etc. That way even if the worst should happen in spite of all your precautions, with the pram running away, it has less chance of going onto the road or tracks.

Above all, take your time when out and about. The pressures of modern life and the clock are real but try to resist them because running with a pram or stroller is just an accident waiting to happen.

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