The main safety concern for 'baby movers' in general is the child falling out of them. Fingers and toes can also get caught in moving parts (for example, when a stroller collapses or is being folded up). Strollers and joggers also have a tendency to tip backwards if the handles are overloaded with carry bags or shopping, with small babies being able to slip out of the harness if this happens. Strollers can also tip backwards if an unharnessed child stands up in them.
You should never leave your child unattended if they happen to fall asleep in the pram or stroller. Babies have slipped down strollers and become caught or wedged between the stroller seat, the front bar or the footplates. Also, babies left alone in prams have been known to get into positions in which they can't move out of that may cause suffocation.
Other safety points to consider include:
- Choosing a pram/stroller that complies with the (voluntary) Australian Standards AS 2088.
- Checking for strong components that feel rigid and not rickety with solid, durable wheels. The pram/stroller/jogger needs to be sturdy to cater for your growing baby. If it folds up for carrying, make sure the frame locks are easy to use and are operating properly (and that it won't collapse prematurely).
- If borrowing a second hand pram/stroller/jogger, make sure it is in good working order and there are no loose or cracked components.
- Look for parcel containers under the pram or stroller. These provide extra storage and stability (rather than hanging things on the stroller handles that may cause the stroller to tip over).
- Test the steering. It should be easy to manoeuvre around corners and across uneven surfaces. Make sure the locking or braking system works correctly and is childproof (meaning that a child cannot operate them).
- Jogging strollers should have efficient shock absorbers to cushion the child if you intend to use it for jogging or going over rough surfaces. Make sure there is some type of hand bar for the child to hang onto when they are older.
- Look for a harness that is a 5 point restraint. This means it has a crotch strap between the legs, straps that go over both shoulders and a waist belt.
- Check the adjustable recline positions, they should lock securely into each position.
- Only use a stroller when you child is old enough to support their own head (around 6 months).
- Do not use prams/strollers as a substitute for a bassinette or cot.
- Do not allow another child into the pram/stroller or jogger unless it is designed for dual occupants.