Stroller safety: Tips for parents
Stroller safety: Tips for parents
If you're like most parents, you'll want to get at least one stroller for your baby. With so many designs and types of strollers, however, how do you choose?
Understand how to pick the best stroller for your baby and important stroller safety tips.
What should I consider when looking for a stroller?
When looking at strollers for your baby, consider:
What type of stroller is safe for a newborn?
If you plan to use a stroller while your baby is a newborn, you'll need to make sure that the stroller reclines — since newborns can't sit up or hold up their heads.
Some strollers fully recline or can be used with a bassinet attachment or an infant-only car seat. However, most umbrella strollers typically don't provide adequate head and back support for young babies.
Also, most jogging strollers aren't designed to recline. As a result, they aren't appropriate for babies until about age 6 months.
What are the benefits of a travel system?
If you have a car, you might look for a stroller that can hold your baby's car seat.
Some car seats and strollers come in matching sets, while others require separate attachments that allow the strollers to be used with certain car seats. Once you strap your baby into his or her car seat, these kinds of strollers will allow you to easily move your baby between the stroller and car.
These types of strollers can also be helpful in an airport, if you plan to take your baby's car seat on the plane.
If you use a travel system that allows you to move your baby's car seat from your vehicle to a stroller base, you might be tempted to let your baby finish car naps in his or her car seat. Keep in mind, though, a car seat is designed to protect your child during travel — not to serve as a replacement crib in your home. Although it's essential to buckle your child into a car seat during travel, don't let your child sleep or relax in the car seat for long periods of time out of the car.
Research suggests that sitting upright in a car seat might compress a newborn's chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen in a baby's blood. Even mild airway obstruction can impair a child's development.
Sitting in a car seat for lengthy periods can also contribute to the development of a flat spot on the back of your baby's head, as well as worsen any gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — a chronic digestive disease.
What if my baby has special needs?
If your baby was born prematurely or has health concerns, look for a stroller with storage that will help you carry any necessary equipment, such as a cardiac monitor or oxygen. Parents of babies who have similar health concerns might be a good source of advice.
What other stroller safety features should I look for?
When looking for a stroller you might consider checking for certain safety features, including:
How can I keep my baby safe in his or her stroller?
You can take steps to prevent stroller accidents. For example:
Whether you're using it on a daily basis, for occasional errands or weekly jogs, a stroller can be a parenting must have. By consistently following safety rules, you can help ensure an enjoyable ride.
Last Updated: 2012-06-28
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