It has been reported by safekids.co.uk that approximately 1,000 UK toddlers are taken to hospital every year after an injury involving a buggy. These injuries can result from falls, tipovers and pinches from within the mechanism of the buggy.
While this number of injuries says more about the large number of parents using buggies to transport their children than the actual danger of those buggies, it is nevertheless true that baby buggy safety is a big issue and that parents should be aware of the potential dangers to their children.
Here are the top seven tips on how to ensure your child is safe when using a baby buggy:
1) Mind your fingers
When opening or closing the buggy, make sure you and your child’s fingers are safely out of the way so they won’t become trapped. Also, when opening the buggy, make sure that the frame is securely locked into place so it won’t collapse while in use – this could potentially trap your child’s fingers.
2) Choose a stable buggy
When choosing your buggy, consider whether its shape will make it a stable device. As a general rule, if the buggy has a wide base and the back wheels are far behind where the child will sit, this will help prevent the baby buggy from tipping over when the child moves around.
3)Brakes are important
Choose a baby buggy with a good set of brakes. If the brakes work on two wheels rather than one, this will provide more security. Whenever you park the buggy, even momentarily, make sure the brakes are on, particularly if you are parked on a slope.
4) Buckle up
Seatbelts in baby buggies can help to prevent injuries, so it’s important to buckle up your child while they are in the buggy, just as you would in a car seat.
5) Think about the load
If you intend to carry around objects in the baby buggy such as shopping, handbags or nappies, this will affect the stability of the buggy. For a safe way to carry objects in the buggy, choose one with a storage section under the seat as this lowers the centre of gravity the more you put into it, preventing the buggy from tipping over. Overloading a buggy or hanging bags from the handles can lead to the buggy tipping over.
6) Train your child
When your child is sitting in the baby buggy, try to make sure they know they must sit properly and not lean over the sides – a tempting idea for curious young minds. If your child sits still they will be a lot safer.
7) Maintain you buggy
Baby buggies, like any product, will experience wear and tear over time. It’s important to make sure your buggy is still safe, particularly as it gets older, by regularly checking tyre pressure and looking for loose wheels, loose joints and sharp edges. If there are any problems which could cause an injury, make sure they are repaired before any further use.