Accidents can happen, even if you are simply pushing your baby around in a stroller. Make sure you are always prepared!
Parents put a great deal of thought into their baby’s first stroller. Is it age-appropriate? Is it comfortable and secure? But even if you choose the perfect stroller, you can’t fully childproof the world around you. When it comes to stroller safety for kids, you can never be too careful.
Tragedy highlights stroller safety for kids
Even if you do end up choosing the best stroller, sadly, accidents can still happen. Take, for instance, the case of a Texas couple whose one-year-old was flung from a stroller after being hit by a car.
Reports say the baby’s parents were pushing the stroller across an intersection in downtown Houston at 1 a.m., even if the traffic light had not signalled that it was safe to cross.
The one-year-old is currently in critical condition. The driver of the car that hit the stroller didn’t appear to be intoxicated, according to authorities.
Just a month prior to the incident, a five-month-old baby in Virginia died after being hit by a car while on a crosswalk. The reckless driver had been sentenced to a year in prison.
Stroller safety for kids: What mums and dads should know
If you are a new mum or dad, make sure that your stroller is safe for newborns – meaning, that it can recline. Your newborn baby has yet to learn how to sit up and hold their heads up without support.
Umbrella strollers and jogging strollers don’t usually have this function. So it’s best to wait until the age of six months before switching to these types of strollers.
Check for the following safety features:
- Easy-to-operate brakes. A good stroller has practical brakes and a lever that’s out of reach for the baby on board.
- A wide base. This provides ample balance, preventing the stroller from suddenly tipping over.
- Only one footrest. If a stroller has more than one footrest, your tot’s small feet can easily get caught in between them.
To prevent stroller accidents, ALWAYS keep the following in mind:
- Follow traffic rules, mums. Stand back from the road until it is safe to cross!
- Make sure your helper or other caregivers follow traffic rules. Let them know that they should not park the stroller right off the curb or near the crossing.
- Don’t leave your little one unattended. Stay close to the stroller at all times.
- If you are pushing a stroller while with a a baby and a bigger child, always hold the bigger child’s hand.
- Use the brakes. Brake every time you stop the stroller.
Keep the brakes engaged while the stroller is parked, even at train stations.
Securely fasten toys to the stroller, as they could be choking or strangulation hazards.
- Buckle your baby up. Make sure the baby harness and seatbelt is fastened before you push the stroller.
- Store bags and other belongings properly. Don’t just hang them on the handles because they could tip it over.
- Make sure the stroller is fully open and secure before placing your baby inside it. When opening and folding it, keep your baby away, so as to keep their little fingers from getting caught in its parts.
- Don’t let your stroller sit in the sun for a long time. Before placing your baby back in the stroller during hot days, check if the surface is cool and safe.
- Check for product recalls. Do your research, especially if your stroller is a hand-me-down. Make sure the brand or product has not recently been recalled.