Lots of accidents happen in strollers – most as a result of kids falling out, but also from little fingers getting caught in the joints and harness points, especially when the stroller is being opened or collapsed. Consider these safety precautions when using your stroller:
Certification: The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certifies strollers to make sure they meet minimum safety standards. Remember that the most secure restraint system is a five-point harness, which goes over your child’s shoulders and also attaches around the waist and through the legs.
Infant safety: Unless your stroller comes with a bassinet (also known as a flat bed) or an adapter for the infant car seat, it’s usually not safe for your infant to ride in the stroller until he or she is six months old.
Bassinet safety: If your stroller comes with a bassinet for a newborn, don’t assume it can be used at home for sleeping. These bassinets are not regulated for nap or nighttime sleeping use at home.
Jogging safety: If you’re truly planning to jog with your baby, read the instructions for your stroller very carefully. Many all-terrain models, which can look like jogging strollers, are not actually suitable for jogging, so check the manufacturer’s manual to make sure the stroller you’re buying is specifically made for jogging. And even though some manufacturers say it’s okay to jog with a young infant, medical consultants for Consumer Reports say that you should wait until your baby is one year old.
Use the restraint: It may be tempting to skip the safety belt or only fasten the lower lap belt if you’re on a short trip or if your child is asleep, but the safest way to stroll is always to have the five-point-harness system locked (make sure you hear the “click”) before you take off.
Use the brakes: When you stop, even for just a minute to chat with a neighbor, lock the stroller’s brakes. Even on a slight incline or with a nudge from an older kid, your stroller could start to roll away if you’re not holding on.
Hanging your bag: Put your bag in the basket or wear it on your back (some diaper bags have a backpack function). Hanging a bag on the back of the stroller over the handlebars can put the stroller off-balance, making it more likely to tip.