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 either Australian Standard AS/NZS 2088:2013 or AS 2088:2022. The Australian Standards label might be on the pram or stroller. Or you can check with the manufacturer or retailer.
Here are more tips to help you make sure you’re buying a safe pram or stroller:
- Always look for a stable and solid frame that locks when folded and that has a strong and secure footrest.
- Make sure there are no gaps that could trap your child’s head, arms, legs or fingers.
- Ensure your pram or stroller has a 5-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 that lock securely and easily, with red parking brake levers.
- Ensure the pram or stroller has a wrist tether strap.
- Check whether the pram or stroller is suitable for your child’s age and weight. Upright, non-reclining strollers must not be used for children under 6 months old.
In addition to safety features, it’s a good idea to consider whether the pram is user-friendly. For example, you might like to think about the pram or stroller’s weight and make sure it’s easy for you to push around.
Reducing risk when using prams and strollers: tips
To keep your child safe, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully each time you set up your pram or stroller. In particular, check that folding mechanisms are securely locked into place to ensure your pram or stroller can’t collapse.
The following tips can help you reduce the risk of your child falling out of the pram or stroller:
- Always use the 5-point safety harness to securely strap in your child. Let your child know that you won’t move off until they’re strapped in.
- As your child grows and becomes more mobile, teach them not to stand up or lean out of the pram or stroller.
Here’s how to reduce the risk of the pram or stroller tipping over and injuring your child:
- Put bags in the basket underneath the pram – don’t hang them over the handles.
- Don’t exceed the pram or stroller’s specified carriage weight limits. Exceeding weight limits can cause instability. It might also break the pram.
- Watch for older siblings trying to climb on the pram or stroller. Teach older children that it’s one person only in the pram.
And here’s how to reduce reduce strangulation and suffocation risks around the pram or stroller:
- Always do up the harness buckle after you take your child out of the pram or stroller.
- Don’t put pillows or blankets in prams or strollers.
If your child falls asleep in the pram or stroller, 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 prams and strollers: tips
Here’s how to stay safe when you’re out and about with your child in a pram or stroller:
- Always place the wrist tether strap around your wrist when you’re using your pram or stroller.
- 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.
- Put the brakes on whenever you stop, even on a flat surface, so that a wriggling child can’t get the wheels rolling again.
- Park your pram or stroller parallel to roads or railway tracks so it can’t roll into danger.
- Ask someone to help when 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 stroller or pram can be in danger of tipping over if you hook bags over the handles.
Falling from prams and strollers is another cause of pram-related injury. For example, this can happen when prams or strollers tip over or when children aren’t properly restrained with a 5-point harness.
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, suffocation or death 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 or leave their child sleeping in the stroller.