How do I make sure my stroller is safe?

When it comes to hitting the pavement with baby, safety comes first. Almost all stroller models these days meet basic safety standards, but there are a few additional safety features to consider when you’re stroller shopping.

  • Look for a five-point safety harness. Five-point harnesses are relatively standard these days, but some umbrella strollers may skimp with a three-point harness. Test the snaps to make sure they’re secure and easy to buckle (and not too easy to unbuckle — at least for baby!).
  • Put on the brakes — literally. Be sure to test how easy the brakes are to use — and how easy they are to trip, too. Do you find yourself hitting the brakes when you don’t intend to? Do the brakes offer a secure stop? Can you easily disengage the brakes when you’re ready to roll on?
  • Examine the hinges and edges. Nooks and crannies on any baby product can be tricky, but be especially careful when looking at strollers. Little fingers and toes can get caught in tight spaces, so beware of any protrusions or sharp edges.
  • Get some shade. A stroller shade or canopy is a must for walks in the sun (or rain) — consider opting for a model with built-in SPF protection, too.
  • Can baby lie back and relax? How deep does the seat recline? If you’re planning to put a newborn into the stroller, look for models that offer a flat recline or bassinet attachment.
  • Put all the pieces together. If you’re planning to purchase a travel system, look at the safety ratings for the car seat, and check out how the car seat attaches to the stroller. Is it an easy-to-use, one-click system? Are there a lot of straps or an adapter involved? You want it to be as simple and straightforward as possible (babies are complicated enough!).
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