Today we will be discussing how to keep babies and children safe in their prams and strollers in aid of Road Safety Week (20th – 26th November). All prams, strollers, buggies, and pushchairs must comply with British Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003. These standards lay out the requirements for all vehicles that are used to carry babies or children. Around 1,000 children in the UK are taken to hospital each year with injuries caused by falls, pinches and tipovers from strollers.
From precious newborns in their carrycots to keeping wilful toddlers on a buggy board, we’ve got tips and products that can help you along the way for a slightly less stressful trip out!
When you are choosing your pram for your newborn, you must ensure that it either has a carrycot included or a seat that lies completely flat. A baby’s lungs are the final thing to develop in the womb so this flat position enables them to develop properly and prevents any breathing difficulties. A lie-flat position is also essential for your baby’s spinal development because it will aid spine growth and in time strengthen muscle tone.
Most prams offer the carrycot as an additional add-on. However popular brand Mima Kids has created an incredible integrated carrycot which is hidden inside the seat pod on their Xari pushchair. No bulky extras to store when your child is ready to sit up: simply zip the carrycot back in to the seat and it’s tidied away.
Once your baby is sitting unaided (usually between 4-6 months), you will want to move your baby from the lie-flat mode to a seated position. If you have been using the carrycot until now you will not be used to buckling your child in with the 5 point harness. It is imperative that you start doing this right now to keep them safe.
Pushchairs should have two locking devices to hold them securely when being used. Once the main lock has been released in order to collapse your pushchair, the secondary lock should be activated to stop the pushchair from collapsing straight away. There should be no areas where your child's fingers could get caught in the collapsing mechanism.
Once your toddler is a little older you may want to move to a more lightweight travel system and a stroller is ideal. They are lightweight, easy to collapse and some are so small they can fit in an areoplane’s overhead locker (we’re looking at you Babyzen Yoyo).
Although it’s tempting to load the handles with your shopping bags, this can cause it to tip over backwards so choose a stroller with a large storage basket underneath instead. Buggy weights can help to counteract this imbalance, with reflective strips for night time visibility.
Although most 3-4 year olds are capable of walking long distances, some are less willing so products as the Lascal Buggy Board or Lascal Saddle that can be attached to most prams are a lifesaver. These are also ideal if a new baby is in the pram and parents do not want to invest in a double buggy.
The clever designers are iCandy have designed in in-built buggy board in their iCandy Orange. This nifty little ride on board holds an impressive 20KG and provides total ease of use. It eliminates the need and expense of a separate ride on board, whilst adding incredible flexibility to the use of the product.