Baby strollers are a great way to move your baby or toddle around while you are trying to shop or get some exercise. There are several brands and models on the market with a wide range of quality and capability. Here are some safety tips to consider when selecting and using your baby stroller.
Select a Safe Stroller
Select a baby stroller that is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer's Association (JPMA). This not only means that the particular manufacturer you've chosen is a little more concerned about product quality than the average, AND that the product bearing that seal has met standards set for baby strollers by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Make an effort to buy strollers with wider wheel bases to reduce the possibility of the stroller tipping over.
Use the Stroller Safely
No matter how carefully a stroller is made, much of the safety involved is up to parents or other adult users. The cardinal rule of baby safety stroller use is NEVER leave a child unattended in the stroller, even for a minute. Strap the child into the stroller with the harness provided. A five-point harness is better than a three-point harness. Store purses, bags, purchased items in the carrier built into the unit. Hanging them from the handle can shift balance enough to cause the stroller to tip over. Lock the stroller wheels whenever you stop somewhere.
Collapsible units make transporting a stroller much easier, but take care to keep little fingers away from the hinges and joints whenever folding the unit or erecting it. If you elect to use a jogging stroller, check with your pediatrician to ensure your baby is compatible, from an age perspective, with the unit you wish to buy. Connect the safety strap to you to prevent the stroller from getting away from you.
If you consider renting, borrowing or buying a second-hand stroller, make sure that the stroller meets the JPMA standards. Inspect it carefully for defects or any damage. Speaking of defects, call the manufacturer and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) if you find any defects in the stroller you buy. Send the product registration card to the manufacturer upon purchase. This will assure that the warranty is in effect and that you will be notified of any product recalls that might occur in the future.
Again, purchase a JPMA-certified stroller, use the safety harness and brakes, and don't overload the unit. NEVER leave a child unattended. Erect and dismantle strollers with care for the child's fingers. Keep a sharp eye out for any damage or defects and contact both the manufacturer and the CPSC when defects do appear.
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