Umbrella Strollers & Infant Safety
An umbrella stroller is a popular option for many parents because its lightweight design and reasonable cost make it hard to pass up. Even if you have a more durable stroller for your daily use, don't be lax when using the umbrella stroller. Consumer Reports reports that 14,000 injuries were reported to children in stroller accidents 1.
Most umbrella strollers are designed to accommodate toddlers. Most umbrella strollers don't provide the neck support that an infant requires because they typically do not recline and don't allow for a car seat or bassinet to attach. Once a baby can support his neck and sit, usually between four and seven months, then an umbrella stroller is appropriate to use. A few high-end umbrella strollers do recline and also offer a "boot enclosure" so a small infant can't fall through, but it also comes with a heftier price tag.
Consumer Reports research found that most of the14,000 stroller-related injuries came in falls 1. Umbrella strollers typically weigh 5 pounds or less and because of their light weight, they are more susceptible to tipping. Don't use the handle bars to carry shopping bags, a diaper bag or purse because that can cause the stroller to tip with the infant inside. Likewise, if the umbrella stroller does come with storage underneath the stroller, check the instructions to ensure you don't exceed the weight restrictions.
Hinges and Brakes
When using the umbrella stroller, ensure that everything is "clicked" into place. When opening the stroller, listen to hear the hinges snap into place. This ensures that the stroller's locking devices are fully locked -- an unlocked stroller can collapse with the infant inside. Also, check to ensure the umbrella stroller has brakes and lock those brakes when stopping for even a moment. A stroller can roll away with the infant inside even on the slightest slope.
Five Point Harness
When doing research on umbrella strollers, look for ones that offer a five-point harness. Infants need their upper body restrained to prevent falls and injury. Listen for the "click" that indicates the safety straps are in place. Also, ensure that the straps fit snugly on your infant.
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