A stroller provides baby with a safe, comfortable place from which to view the world, while giving parents more freedom and enjoyment during outings.
So you’ve stepped into the stroller showroom. How do you take one on a test-drive? First, you’ll want to see how it handles. Can you push it and turn it easily? Front and rear wheels that swivel make it easier to steer, which is handy for busy sidewalks and stores. You should also test the brakes and see that the wheels lock. How simple is it to fold and unfold the stroller? Other things to look for in a stroller include:
- a wheelbase that’s wide enough to prevent tipping
- it resists tipping backwards when you press lightly down on handle
- no sharp edges or gaps since small fingers can get caught between metal parts
- plastic end caps on the tube ends should be securely fastened
- shopping baskets that are down low, directly over the rear axle to avoid tipping
- safety belts and buckles should be easy to latch and unlatch for you but impossible for baby to do so; the belt should fit snugly around the waist and have crotch straps that loop into the waist belt to prevent baby from slipping out
- an easy-to-use locking mechanism to prevent it from collapsing accidentally
- a canopy or adjustable shade to protect from the elements
- a comfortable handle height; most strollers are designed for the average woman, so if you’re taller or shorter, adjustable handles can help prevent shoulder and back strain; the ideal height is waist-level or slightly below
- Never leave a child unattended in a stroller.
- Always secure the seat belt.
- Never place a pillow in a stroller with an infant.
- Keep children away while folding and unfolding a stroller.
- Don’t allow children to use a stroller as a toy.
- Always use the brakes when stopping for a period of time.
- Keep your stroller working safely by performing frequent check-ups: tighten nuts & bolts; replace worn straps; examine brakes; and lubricate wheels.
- Don’t place hot liquids in the parent drink holders.