Choosing a Stroller: Best Tips to Keep Your Child Safe

Parents with young children have so many decisions to make and so many pieces of “equipment” to get. One of the bigger decisions is choosing a stroller that fits both your baby and your family’s lifestyle. There are many different options out there and it can get overwhelming. Here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your child(ren) safe while you are on the go.

Get a model that fits your child. Strollers are not one-size fits all. Most have age and weight limits.

  • Make sure to get one that is the right size for your child and follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for use.
  • If you will be using the stroller with a newborn, make sure to get one that reclines or that can be used with an infant-only car seat.
  • Since jogging strollers are not designed to recline, wait to use those until babies are at least 6 months old.

Always buckle up. Make sure your child is seated and buckled in at all times. It can be really tempting for them to try to wiggle out or to try to stand up if they are not buckled in.

Keep handles clear. Hanging heavy items like purses and bags on the handle of strollers can cause them to tip over. Store these items under the stroller or on your shoulder. If getting a new stroller, look for one with a wide wheel base that will be harder to tip over.

Lock it. Lock stroller wheels when you “park” to prevent it from rolling away unexpectedly. Make it a rule to lock the wheels whenever you take your hands off the handles – this includes when you are putting your child in the stroller or taking him out.

Adults only. Make sure kids know that only adults are allowed to push strollers. Tip-overs can happen when excited older siblings try to “help” and fingers can get pinched if your little ones try to help fold up the strollers.

Check for recalls. There have been many strollers recalls in recent years. Check www.recalls.gov to see if the model you plan to use has been recalled.

  • In 2015, new safety guidelines went into effect for all new strollers. Any strollers sold after that time are required to meet these new safety standards.

Learn more about stroller safety, here.

Tracy Mehan, MA
Tracy Mehan is the manager of translational research for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In this role, she takes injury prevention research out of the journals and into the community. As the mother of a very active 12-year-old boy and an aunt to 21 nieces and nephews, she frequently gets to see firsthand the need for various injury prevention measures. When she isn’t out trying to save the world, you can find her on the basketball court with her son, with her nose in her kindle, or exploring websites on pirate trivia.

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