The ACCC is urging parents and carers to follow some simple safety tips when using prams and strollers.
Deaths and injuries
Prams and strollers not under the control of parents or carers can roll away into potentially hazardous situations.
Two deaths were reported in South Australia in 2006/7 after strollers rolled into a river.
There have also been several reports of 'near-miss' incidents, especially near railway platforms and near bodies of water. For example, on 28 September 2011, a five-month old boy ended up face down on train tracks when his pram rolled off a platform in Melbourne. Luckily, he escaped with only minor injuries. Also, in October 2010, a two-year-old boy was unhurt after the brakes of his pram failed and the pram rolled over the riverbank and onto rocks at the foot of the Brisbane River. The toddler was uninjured, but was thrown into the water.
The most common injuries reported to the ACCC involving prams and strollers are:
finger cut, crush or even amputation and finger entrapment injuries sustained by parents and carers in stroller folding mechanisms
facial injuries and bruising to children associated with falls from prams and strollers. You can help to avoid incidents like these by ensuring that you use all of the mandatory safety features on your pram or stroller, and by following some simple tips.
You can help to avoid incidents like these by ensuring your pram or stroller has all mandatory safety features, and by following some simple tips.
Using prams and strollers safely
Parents and carers using prams and strollers should ensure they take the following safety steps to keep their children safe:
- Whenever you are taking a child anywhere in a stroller or pram, always place the tether strap around your wrist.
- Whenever the child is in the stroller or pram and you are not pushing it, always apply the brake using the red lever.
- When using strollers, always:
- check that the stroller or attachments are safely locked into place
- secure the child in the harness before you begin your journey.
- When stationary, always:
- park the stroller or pram in a position that prevents it from rolling towards a hazard (for example, park parallel to railway tracks or areas of water so it can't roll into danger)
- put the brakes on and check to ensure they are working
- keep the tether strap on your wrist at all times to maintain control.
- Avoid hanging things such as groceries and shopping on the handles or push bars while carrying a child. Prams and strollers are not designed to hold additional weight - if they are overloaded or unbalanced they can become unstable and fall over, injuring the child.
- When unfolding or folding prams or strollers, check that:
- your fingers are clear of the hinge mechanism or any parts that might create a pinching or scissoring motion, to avoid serious finger injury or amputation
- babies and children are well clear of the pram or stroller during unfolding or folding.
- Never leave children unattended in a pram or stroller.
- Never sleep children in prams as strangulation or suffocation can occur if a child moves about when asleep and becomes trapped in parts of the pram or stroller
- Exercise caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using attachments on prams such as toddler seats. The centre of gravity of the pram may be affected and the possibility of the pram tipping over is increased.
- Only purchase a stroller or pram that meets the requirements of the mandatory standard.
Order a copy of our free brochure Safety alert — Prams and strollers for more information.