The 4 key safety features of any Australian pram (and 4 myths about pram safety you have to read!)
Whilst on-trend colours, luxury materials and multiple configuration types are key selling features for any pram, safety is - and always should be - the number one consideration when purchasing a pram or stroller. But with so many brands on the marketplace highlighting different safety features, it can be difficult to decide what features and essential to your child’s safety, and what is simply marketing jargon.
In today’s blog we reached out to Babybee’s Quality Control Manager to find out the four key safety features of any pram, as well as the four biggest myths about pram safety!
First and foremost, there are 4 key safety features of any pram sold in Australia in order to be compliant with the latest safety standard AS/NZS 2088:2013. These features are:
5-Point Safety Harness
Ensure there is a 5 point safety harness in any pram or stroller you are considering purchasing. These have been designed to keep your child safely inside the stroller seat whilst preventing loops in the harness, reducing the risk of strangulation. Please note that pram bassinets in Australia are not required to have a harness installed as they can become a strangulation or entrapment hazard if your little one wriggles around too much. So don’t worry, they’re just as safe without it!
To comply with AS/NZS 2088:2013 standards, there must be a foot brake clearly marked in red, as well as linked brakes, ensuring the pram securely remains in place. The foot brake is there for one very important reason; to keep your pram from rolling into danger. Foot breaks tend to be easy to engage (especially when you’ve got your hands full!) but all Australian prams by law need to include a red coloured break for maximum visibility.
Another key safety feature to look out for is a tether strap on the pram handlebar that fits around your wrist. This allows you to secure the pram to yourself and preventing it from rolling away. Trust us when we say that it only take s a big gust of wind to get your pram rolling away from you, so a foot brake and tether strap are essential to ensuring your pram doesn’t roll into any danger.
Finally, prams and strollers that recline more than 150 degrees must have a permanent head barrier attached to the top of the seat. This is often referred to as a canopy, and also provide shade and additional headroom for your toddler.
Now to debunking pram safety myths.
The marketplace is filled with scare-campaigns to coerce you into spending more money than you need to on addition “features” for “safety” which in reality offer zero additional safety assurances than other prams on the marketplace.
Our Quality Control Manager has heard and seen it all and says the top 4 safety myths in the pram industry are:
MYTH: you can use your pram bassinet for overnight sleeping
This is a contentious issue in the pram industry as there are several companies that tell parents their pram bassinet is suited for overnight sleeping. Simply put, there are NO pram bassinets in Australia that are safe for overnight sleeping as there are no regulations, design or safety standards in place with no predetermined guidelines for safe sleeping features. As the bassinet is considered part of the pram itself, pram bassinets fall under the Australian and New Zealand standard ‘Prams and strollers—safety requirements’ AS/NZS 2088:2000. Compliance of this standard requires a warning label on all prams stating “DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED”. Similarly Red Nose states, “Never leave your baby unattended in a pram or stroller. It is not a substitute for a cot”. It is for this reason that we encourage regular monitoring of your baby even when napping in a bassinet for brief periods of time.
MYTH: heavier pram frames equal safer prams
When the Babybee team were busy designing the very first ROVER pram, they surveyed thousands of customers to find out what parents loved and hated about their pram. And of the thousands surveyed, parents unanimously voted that their number one pet peeve of prams was overly heavy, hard-to-manoeuvre prams. These are often sold by high-end pram brands with messages around pram safety, when in reality having a heavier pram frame means you risk injury getting your pram in and out of the car, and makes your pram easier to gain momentum and roll if you forget to engage your foot brake. Therefore, we recommend choosing prams that are made of ultralightweight and incredibly durable aluminium, which will not only last for years to come but will reduce any risk of of injury when taking your pram in and out of a car.
MYTH: you can’t hang any bag on your handlebar
Let’s get one thing clear: hanging your handbag from your pram handlebar is one of the biggest no-no’s of pram safety as this causes a tipping hazard and seriously endangers your child. However, the statement that you can’t hang anything from your handlebar is a myth. When designing our prams, the Babybee Design & Quality teams determined the maximum weight bearing capacity of our pram handlebars, so that parents could be given the opportunity to have their essential items (keys, phone and wallet) on the handlebar, rather than tucked away in the pram basket. Both our Babybee DUO2 and ROVER 2019 prams come with a complimentary handlebar bag for you to safely use with confidence!
MYTH: you must use a bassinet for babies under 6 months of age
When it comes to newborn safety and your pram, the best way to position your brand-new baby is flat on their back, on a relatively firm surface. This flat, firm surface offers the best position for spine development as well as reducing the risk of SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death – formerly called SIDS). It also ensures that their airways remain clear. That is why parents love, and tend to opt for bassinets when their baby is under 6 months of age. Whilst we strongly recommend the use of bassinets, there are alternative options on the marketplace that offer a just as safe mode of transport for your newborn. The Babybee LUNA double stroller, for example, is designed with a newborn cocoon insert, which positions your newborn completely flat and can be placed inside the stroller seat for greater ease of use. There are other brands on the marketplace also that offer a “newborn insert”, which are 100% compliant with the top safety standards of prams.