New federal safety standards for strollers addresses hazards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently approved a new federal mandatory standard intended to improve the safety of carriages and strollers for children.

It covers full-size 2D strollers that fold in front-to-back (or back-to-front) and 3D strollers that fold in front-to-back (or back-to-front), as well as side-to-side directions, travel systems (including car seats), tandem, side-by-side, multi-occupant and jogging strollers.

The new standard incorporates previously developed voluntary guidelines and adds regulations that address head entrapment hazards associated with multi-positional/adjustable grab bars. The standards will go into effect into September 2015.

The new safety standard also takes into account reports of injuries to the CPSC, which include:

  • Hinge issues that have resulted in pinched, cut, or amputated fingers or arms
  • Broken and detached wheels
  • Parking brake failures
  • Locking mechanism problems
  • Restraint issues, such as a child unbuckling the restraint and restraint breakage or detachment
  • Structural integrity
  • Stability

The CPSC has received about 1,300 incident reports related to strollers reported from January 1, 2008 through June 30, 2013. Four of those incidents involved a fatality. Two of the incidents were related to insufficient clearance space between stroller components: in the first fatal incident, a 5-month old infant's head became entrapped between the seat and tray; in the second incident, a 5-month-old infant's head was wedged between the car seat of a travel system and a metal bar located under the cup holder.

Of the nonfatal incidents, the CPSC reported From January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012, the CPSC reported that that 359 resulted in an injury. Seventy-two of the nonfatal injuries were related to hinges; wheel-related issues resulted in 52 reported injuries; while locking mechanism failures were associated with 42 reported injuries. A total of 70 incidents resulted in moderate and severe injuries, such as lacerations requiring stitches, tooth extractions, fractures, head injuries, and partial amputations of fingers.

Recalls from this past year involving strollers or related accessories include Britax’s B-Agile, B-Agile Double and BOB Motion strollers; Kolcraft’s Jeep Liberty Strollers; Joovy’s Zoom Car Seat Adapter; Bugaboo’s Cameleon3 Strollers; and Baby Jogger’s Car Seat Adaptor for Strollers.

How can you pick out a safer stroller? Here are some helpful tips from the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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