A study published in the journal American Pediatrics claims that between the years 1990 and 2010, 361,000 children five years old or younger were sent to the emergency room after being injured in stroller accidents. By 2010, 53 percent of babies and 42 percent of children injured in stroller accidents were being treated for brain injuries.
If you are a parent, there are ways that you might decrease the odds your children are injured in stroller accidents. In some cases, strollers are recalled for structural defects, but parents remain unaware.
How Can Parents Help Prevent Stroller Accidents?
Check for recalls: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the federal organization tasked with organizing recalls within its jurisdiction, which includes baby strollers and carriages. You can visit the CPSC’s website and use the search engine to pull up information on recalls. For example, you can type “Graco strollers” into the search engine in the upper right-hand corner. A listing of recent Graco baby stroller recalls and detailed information will be displayed. Simply type the name of your stroller manufacturer and the model into the website’s search engine.
Read the age and weight guidelines: Strollers may have different guidelines depending on your child’s age or weight. For example, most umbrella strollers are not suitable for newborns because they do not fully recline. You can also check the weight limit on strollers to maintain structural integrity.
Use the five-point restraint system: Many children are injured in stroller accidents by falling out. This is sometimes due to poor or nonexistent harnessing. Always make sure your children are firmly strapped in.
Make sure your stroller has safe brakes: According to Mayo Clinic, strollers should have brakes that are easy to use. Children should also not be able to reach the brake safety levers.
Don’t place bags on stroller handles: Bags hanging from stroller handles can cause the weight distribution to become uneven, leading to tip over accidents.
New strollers have stricter safety guidelines: In September of 2015, the CPSC’s new standards for strollers went into effect. Strollers made and sold in 2016 are more likely to meet these standards.
Recalled strollers are especially risky. Graco strollers made between October 2004 and December 2009 were made with canopies that can sever fingertips. It is extremely important to stay informed on recalls to keep your children safe.
The New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Keefe Law Firm can help parents whose children have been injured by defective strollers.