What you need to know
- A pram or stroller is for getting about with your baby. For a sleeping child, a cot or bassinet is best.
- Injuries often happen when a pram is overloaded with shopping or the child tries to climb out.
- Bouncinettes are intended for very young babies. They shouldn't be used for babies who can sit up or make vigorous movements.
- Playing on the floor is better for your child’s development. If you decide to buy a baby walker, think carefully about what your child could reach from it and where they might be likely to go too fast or fall
- Before you buy a baby walker, make sure you can secure any drops in floor level.
What you need to do
Choose a pram that is well designed and suits your needs.
- the pram or stroller meets a standard — the most common is AS/NZS 2088:2000
- there are two locking devices to prevent folding
- the brakes work properly
- instructions are included and you follow them
- the harness provided will firmly restrain your child — a 5-point harness is best
- there are no sharp edges or open tubes
- removable pieces can be fastened securely
- fabric and linings fit snugly and don't contain gaps or hidden pockets that baby can get trapped in.
Using a pram or stroller safely
- When using a pram or stroller, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
- Properly secure all fastenings after washing fabric or after changing seat position.
- Check that the brakes work well and that they're on when pram isn't moving.
- Make sure both locking devices (which prevent the pram folding) are in place before putting your child in the pram.
- Make sure the harness straps fit firmly, and use the harness all the time.
- Hang shopping over handles — this makes the pram unstable and it could tip over.
- Leave fastenings undone while pram is in use — you may have created a gap that your child could fall through or get stuck in.
- Let your child to climb into the stroller unassisted, or play on it — it could tip over.
- Use a pram on stairs or escalators — use lifts whenever possible.
- a wide base to prevent it tipping over
- safety straps to secure your child
- smooth, rounded edges.
Using a bouncinette safely
- Only use your bouncinette on the floor — it can fall off raised surfaces such as tables or benchtops.
- Never leave your child unattended.
- Never carry your child in a bouncinette — they may fall out.
- Stop using the bouncinette as soon as your child can sit up or make vigorous movements.
Baby walkers can be dangerous. They can increase the risk of an accident as they allow a child to move faster and reach more objects than they can safely do on their own. Some health organisations don't recommend using baby walkers.
If you do choose to buy a new baby walker, make sure it meets the safety standard.
Ask for advice at a reliable shop.
Look for a statement showing:
- compliance with the American Standard ASTM F977, or
- the American JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) logo.
Also make sure the walker has:
- recessed wheel mouldings
- friction strips on the base
- warning labels
- grips around corners.
Note: Do not use a baby walker if it's second-hand, a hand-me-down, made before 2002, or you're not sure if it meets the standards. Throw it away and buy a walker you're sure complies with the standards.
Using baby walkers safely
- Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly and use.
- Use the walker only for short periods of time — they are designed only for occasional short use.
- Always supervise a baby in a baby walker — it's not a safe place to leave a baby alone.
- Check the environment. Make sure:
- hazards such as stairs, heaters, and fireplaces are well-guarded
- the walker is on a flat, stable surface like a floor
- outer doors are shut
- electrical and blind cords are out of reach
- hot foods and liquids are out of reach
- toys or beads attached to the walker are well fastened, and the toys comply with safety standards.
If you have a safety problem or concern
If you have some concerns about the safety of a product or if you’re injured by a product, you should tell the retailer or supplier about it.
You also have the right to ask for a remedy such as a refund, replacement or repair under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). One of the guarantees in the CGA is that products must be of acceptable quality and this includes that the product is safe.
In addition, it’s good to report the details to us – product safety reports from the public help government agencies to identify systemic issues and help us to prioritise and respond to issues.