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Finding the safest stroller for your child

May 14, 2010 8:00:39 AM PDT
With more than two million strollers recalled in the past few months due to a risk of amputation, you may be wondering if your stroller is safe. These recalls underscore the importance of stroller safety.

A popular model of the Maclaren stroller is one of several that have been recalled.

"If a child was to put their finger into the area of the hinge right here as the stroller is being set up, they could potentially get their finger amputated," Don Mays from Consumer Reports said.

A Britax umbrella stroller poses a similar amputation risk. And so does the canopy attachment on a recalled Graco stroller. All three manufacturers are providing fixes for the problem

"It's simply a fabric cover that zips over the hinge area that prevents a child from putting their finger in harms' way," Mays said.

And there's a different safety concern with three other strollers. If a child is not properly strapped in, they pose a strangulation risk. All three failed Consumer Reports' test of a voluntary safety standard

"The danger here is if a child's torso slips under the bar but their head gets hung up. This head probe represents the dimension between the chin and the back of the head of an average 13-month-old. We test for it by placing it in the stroller. This ball should pass through underneath that bar under its own weight. It doesn't, so it fails to comply with the industry standard," Mays said.

As a result, Consumer Reports says don't buy the Valco Baby Tri-Mode all-terrain stroller or the Tike Tech City X3 all-terrain stroller and the Tike Tech X3 Sport jogging stroller.

Consumer Reports has contacted both Valco and Tike Tech about its test findings. Neither manufacturer says it has received any reports of injuries. However, Consumer Reports says if you own one of these three strollers, you should remove the grab bar in order to eliminate any potential risk.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)


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