The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently approved a new safety standard for strollers and carriages. Strollers are defined as wheeled vehicles that transport children from infancy through age 3 who are generally sitting or in a semi-reclined position. Carriages are wheeled vehicles that transport infants, generally in a lying down position.
The new standards will go into effect on September 10, 2015 and all strollers and carriages sold after that date will have to comply with the new standards. At this point, the CPSC is not providing guidance on existing strollers, but the safety concerns with some existing strollers will need to be considered in determining whether they should be replaced.
Through June 2013, the CPSC had received 1,300 safety-related reports regarding difficulties with strollers. Nearly 400 children have been injured, 14 hospitalized, and 4 killed by strollers or carriages.
Some of the greatest hazards with strollers and carriages include:
- Hinges (most dangerous)
- Wheels breaking or detaching
- Parking brake failures
- Locking mechanism problems
- Structural integrity
The other big concern is restraint issues. The CPSC notes that many safety issues with strollers and carriages are due to falls. While restraint systems will be examined in the new safety standards, simply making sure that children are properly restrained and supervised will decrease the risk of injury.