Some of the major hazards that babies and children are exposed to from pram use include:
- falls and impact injuries arising from faulty or incorrectly applied harnesses, or prams that tip over
- cuts and pinched skin from moving parts (these can occur to both the baby and an adult)
- the impact of colliding with objects or vehicles, or falls from heights, if control of the pram is lost.
Requirements for Australian prams
Prams sold in Australia must adhere to the applicable safety standards. This compliance will be clearly denoted by labels on the pram, the safety instructions and on any packaging.
As a minimum, prams must have wrist straps to loop around an adult’s wrist, working brakes (coloured red) to stop the pram rolling and restraint harnesses for the baby.
Instructions must be available that carry not only safety warnings but also detail proper care of the pram and how to use it correctly.
Some prams are compatible with baby car capsules, while others can be converted to strollers when your baby is old enough. Some prams can be adjusted to face forwards or backwards, some can be easily folded away to save space, and others are designed specifically to be combined with exercise such as jogging.
When choosing a pram, consider not only your present needs but how your needs might change in the short-term and longer term future.
Make regular checks of the various moving parts and joints of your pram to ensure it remains safe and sturdy. This is particularly important for prams that are foldable as continuous use of these mechanisms can sometimes loosen structural components.
Consider carefully any second-hand prams as it is often hard to determine their history. They may be lacking mandatory safety labels and warnings and often are not sold with safe use and operating instructions.