Stroller Safety Features You Should Know

Strollers make parenting a lot easier, but they can also pose safety risks. With so many models on the market, it can be difficult to pinpoint key features.

Whichever model you choose, inspect your stroller regularly to make sure it is safe and stable. Some stroller safety features are federally mandated; others are optional, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t important.

five-point harness

Stroller attachments must be adjustable and fit snugly to the child. A waistband in itself is not safe, because the child can slip under the belt. The safest restraint system for pushchairs is a five point armor, which consists of a belt over each shoulder, a belt between the legs and a waist belt on each side. All five straps are connected with a buckle in the middle of their torso.

A three-point belt, which includes the hip and leg belt but no shoulder straps, is also generally considered safe.

woman holding and putting on belts for her child miniseries / Getty Images

Child Resistant Buckles

a stroller armor belt buckle should be simple enough for an adult to open quickly in an emergency, but complex enough that a child cannot detach.

Test all buckles before using the stroller to make sure you understand how to open and close them. Seat belt buckles must be fastened when a child is in the stroller.

person fixing harness of stroller Catherine McQueen / Getty Images

Easy wheel locks

The most effective pushchair brakes work by engaging mechanisms in the wheels to lock them in place. Avoid brakes that only put pressure on the tires as they still allow some wheel movement.

Make sure the brakes are simple nasty activate in case of emergency. Always apply them when the stroller is stationary.

Baby Stroller Parking Lock Wheel Safety Wittaya Budda / Shutterstock

Safe wheelbase

A stroller must be a big space between all wheels to prevent it from tipping in any direction easily. All wheels must are touch the ground when the pushchair is on a level surface. Check the wheels regularly to make sure they are not loose in their brackets.

woman walking and pushing stroller Sven Hansche / EyeEm / Getty Images

low chair

The seat of the stroller must sit low nasty the ground to keep the center of gravity low and prevent tipping. Test the stability of the stroller by pushing on the handlebars. If the stroller begins to tip backwards with light pressure, it is not stable.

woman and child in a pram LSOphoto/Getty Images

Central storage

if there is one storage basket included on the stroller, it must be placed in front of the rear wheels and under the seat. In this way, when items are added to it, the weight of the stroller remains balanced and low, ensuring stability. Never hang storage bags on the push handle, this can unbalance the pushchair.

Pram on the beach on sunny day Tatyana Aksenova / Shutterstock

Adjustable seat

A stroller must be a lean backwards seat if you are planning to use it on a baby under six months old because babies can’t hold their heads up.

The chair must lie almost right when fully reclined. Alternatively, some strollers are designed with removable baby cribs or car seats.

father taking care of newborn in pram SanyaSM/Getty Images

Closable leg openings

If a stroller has an adjustable seat, check to see if it also has a way to: close to the leg holes of the seat — fabric cover or footrests that lift up to cover the openings. Leg holes that cannot be closed pose a serious danger to infants as their body can fit through the opening.

mom is jogging while pushing the pram LanaStock/Getty Images

tandem seats

If you’re looking for a two-seat stroller, choose a model with one chair in it front from the other† These are called tandem strollers. They are more stable than side-by-side models.

If you prefer pushchairs with seats next to each other, make sure there is only one single long footrest† Children’s feet can get caught between separate footrests.

woman taking care of two children in pram Natalya Lys / Shutterstock

Weatherproof awning

Find a stroller with a weather-blocking canopy to protect children from sun, wind and rain. Some awnings can be adjusted so that the opening faces forward or back.

Consider choosing an awning with a plastic window through which you can see the child as you push the stroller.

Little boy walking in pram with rain protection cover Kuziki / Getty Images
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