November is National Child Safety & Protection Month, and, while we’re always thinking about ways to keep your little ones safe, this special month gives us an extra-special reason to talk about stroller safety. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 children under the age of five are injured in stroller-related incidents each year. The great news is that these are preventable! Here are some tips to help keep your little one strolling safely:
Choose wisely. Carefully consider what you’d like to do with your stroller. Are you looking for something to use with your infant car seat (infant carrier), a stroller to take on rougher terrain (all-terrain) or a lightweight, portable stroller for your toddler.
Stay close. Don’t ever leave your baby or toddler unattended in his or her stroller, especially when baby is asleep. Staying close by will ensure that you can keep a close eye on your little companion.
Buckle up. Use the safety belt or harness to restrain your child from climbing out of the stroller and to prevent tipping. For really tiny babies, consider using a stroller that’s compatible with your infant car seat (infant carrier).
Fold far away. Pinched fingers are no fun, so make sure when you’re folding or setting up your stroller, your child is a safe distance away. Your little one’s digits will thank you.
To jog or not to jog? Don’t jog or run with a stroller that’s not specifically designed to be a jogging stroller (even if it’s an all-terrain or a sporty style). Jogging strollers have special safety and handling features that make them handle properly when you’re moving quickly.
Lighten up! Even though it might be tempting to make your stroller a workhorse, loading the handles down with packages, shopping bags and diaper bags, resist the urge. The good news is that many Graco strollers come equipped with a large storage basket under the seat—it’s perfect for baby essentials.
Just the right size. To reduce the possibility of injuries, check and adhere to the manufacturer’s stated weight limit for the stroller. And, don’t put more little ones in the stroller than the design allows.
Gimme a brake. Make sure that you use the parking break when the stroller is stopped, especially when you’re on an incline. Even if it’s just for a moment, the brake is an important tool to keep baby safe.
Frame it. Make sure the locking mechanism on your stroller frame is engaged. This will help ensure that your stroller structure stays properly set up while baby is riding along.
Shady. Be careful about leaving your stroller in the sun for long periods of time, even in colder weather. Strollers often have dark colors that absorb heat, making the surfaces hard for baby’s soft, sensitive skin. If you have left the stroller out in direct sunlight, test the surface before putting baby inside.
Stay in touch. Make sure to fill out the manufacturer’s card and send it back. That way, you can stay in touch with the maker of your stroller, in case there are any important safety updates!
We wish you safe and happy strolling, Graco friends!