According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Consumer Reports, there are a number of strollers out in the marketplace that are not safe for kids to use. Some strollers even pose a strangulation hazard.
This safety issue can arise when the space between the stroller’s seat and the tray/barrier is big enough for a child’s unharnessed body to slip right out, but not large enough that the head cannot slide through, too. This can cause him/her to get stuck in this position, upping the possibility of strangulation. (Consumer Reports says that even though all young children should be properly harnessed when in strollers, even when they aren’t, there shouldn’t ever be the risk that they might slide out.)
The American publication says that although several of the strollers it has identified as strangulation risks over the years were recalled, some of them are still available for sale. It recently found a couple of them on Craigslist.
To help make choosing a stroller easier, Consumer Reports has a Stroller Buying Guide that provides ratings and recommendations for which strollers it thinks are the best bets. It also offers some suggestions:
- Consider the age and size of the child: A car-seat carrier on a stroller may be ideal for a newborn, while a lightweight one could be better for a six-month old, etc.
- That said, there are also different ways certain strollers are able to recline, and your child’s age and development will determine whether a traditional stroller that doesn’t fully recline (good for newborns) or one that does is the best choice.
- Make sure the stroller is the right fit not just for your baby but also for you. If you live in the city and depend on a lot of public transportation, a lighter, yet still solid stroller that easily folds and doesn’t take up much room might be your best choice. If you like to walk, a stroller with bigger tires might be the preferred option—although this can be harder to load into the car trunk or carry onto a bus. There are even jogging stroller for parents who like to run.
- Test driving a stroller rather than just watching video/online demos or reading about it is a good way to find out if the stroller is the one you need and can use.
- Make sure the stroller you buy comes with a sticker verifying that it was certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (Also, ASTM stroller standards are becoming mandatory.) According to CPSC, between 2006 and 2009 there were five stroller fatalities in the US and many more injuries. Injuries involving strollers may include soft tissue bruising, head injuries, broken wrists, facial injuries, back injuries, spinal injuries, and emotional trauma.
Examples of other stroller defects: unsafe hinges that can cause fingertip amputation and laceration and improperly secured product parts that can cause the stroller to come apart during use. This may create a fall hazard.
You may have grounds for a stroller defect lawsuit against a negligent manufacturer, seller, or distributor. At The Gilbert Law Group, our child injury lawyers represent children and their family seeking to pursue personal injury damages for the harm they have suffered.