Buying a safe pram or stroller: tips
If you’re buying a new pram or stroller, the first thing is to check that it meets the mandatory Australian Standard AS/NZS 2088. Look for the Australian Standards label and ask the retailer if you’re not sure.
Here are more tips to help you make sure you’re buying a safe pram or stroller:
- Always look for a strong frame, with easy steering and a strong and secure footrest.
- Ensure your pram or stroller has a five-point harness that goes around your child’s waist, over their shoulders and between their legs.
- Check that the pram or stroller has one or more parking brakes, with red parking brake levers.
- Ensure the pram or stroller has a tether strap.
- Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see whether the pram or stroller is suitable for your child’s age and weight.
Using your pram or stroller safely: tips
When you’re out and about with your child in a pram or stroller, a few simple precautions will keep your little one safe:
- Check that folding mechanisms are securely locked into place to ensure your pram or stroller can’t collapse.
- Always use the five-point safety harness – your child can fall out if they’re not strapped in securely. Let your child know that you won’t move off until they’re strapped in.
- Put bags in the basket underneath the pram to avoid the pram tipping over – don’t hang them over the handles.
- Carry as little as possible in the carriage. Pillows, for example, can cause instability and pose a suffocation risk.
- Put the wheel brakes on whenever you stop, even on a flat surface, so that a wriggling child can’t get the wheels rolling again.
- Always park your pram or stroller parallel to roads or railway tracks so it can’t roll into danger.
- Always place the tether strap around your wrist.
If your child falls asleep in the pram, either watch them or move them to a cot. It’s dangerous to leave a child unattended in a pram or stroller, even when they’re asleep. They could wriggle and make the pram tip over. This could lead to suffocation or strangulation in the pram’s folds or gaps.
Getting around safely with your pram or stroller
With these extra safety tips, you and your child will be good to go:
- Avoid pushing prams or strollers on rough ground, over curbs, and up and down stairs. This increases the chance of injuries and can damage your pram or stroller.
- As your child grows and becomes more mobile, teach them not to stand up or lean out of the pram or stroller.
- Watch for older siblings trying to climb on the pram or stroller, because this can make the pram tip over. Teach older children that it’s one person only in the pram.
- Ask someone to help if you’re lifting your pram or stroller onto buses, trains and trams. Hold the handles yourself, and ask the other person to hold the foot of the pram or stroller. When you’re getting off, it’s safer if another person can go ahead of you and grab the foot of the pram first.
Physical activity is vital to your child’s healthy growth and development. Aim to balance any time your child spends in a pram or stroller with plenty of tummy time and other physical activity.
Injuries from prams and strollers
Many children need hospital treatment every year for an injury related to a pram or stroller.
Tipping over is the most common cause of pram-related injuries. Even the sturdiest pram can be in danger of tipping over if you hook heavy bags over the handles.
Runaway prams also cause injuries. Several children in Australia have died after a pram or stroller they were in rolled away.
The types of injuries that have occurred include:
- bumps, bruises and more serious injuries after falls from prams or strollers
- pinched or trapped fingers or limbs
- strangulation or suffocation if babies become trapped in parts of the pram or stroller
- death and serious injury if parents or carers lose control of the pram or stroller.