If you have a baby on the way, you will already be thinking about pushchairs. If you want to go anywhere with child in tow, you’ll need to get one; they are one of the essential things you have to pick up in preparation for the new arrival.
Now, buying a pushchair can be a tricky bit of business – there are many different types out there, all of which are good for different purposes. For example, a newborn can only use a pushchair if it can recline all the way back; you should not keep them sitting up.
In order to make sure that you get the very safest of pushchairs with the minimum confusion, we’ve put together this mini guide. Read it, and you shouldn’t find yourself scratching your head in Mothercare ever again!
Safety Regulation Compliance
By law, all prams and pushchairs – whether new or second-hand – have to comply with the British Standard 7409. This describes the various requirements that must be in place, so make sure you look for the British Standard mark BS 7409 (or BS EN 1888), or enquire about it with the seller.
The following things are all important; you should make sure to check them, especially if you’re buying a second-hand pushchair or pram.
Check the Brakes
The first thing you should look at is the brakes; these are one of the most important parts when it comes to your child’s safety.
The pushchair’s brakes should be easy to apply, as you will be using them every time you stop. Tyre wear can affect how effectively the brakes perform, so make sure you check these regularly.
Look at the Locks
Locking devices are also important; your pushchair should have two of them, to keep the device firmly and securely open when in use – you don’t want them folding up with Baby inside! Make sure there are no areas where your little ones can get his or her tiny fingers caught.
Follow the included instructions when folding and unfolding the pushchair.
Check the Belt
When your baby is sitting up in a pram or pushchair, he or she should be equipped with a safety harness to stop any falls. This harness should go over the shoulders, around the waist, and through the legs.
Most will come with a safety harness already built in, but if yours doesn’t, you will have to go out and buy one. You should be able to visit the website of the manufacturer to check whether or not it’s included.
Look at Its Stability
This step is simple – just check the pushchair to see whether or not it will tip up easily. Perhaps put some weight in the chair to create verisimilitude, then push it around for a bit.
Remember: don’t overload the pushchair handles with bags of shopping; this is asking for trouble.
Check the Label!
Yes, we’ve covered the British Standard already, but we’re reiterating it because it’s so important. The following three should be fine: BS 7409: 1996; BS 1888: 1998; BS 1888: 2003.
If the pushchair ticks all the boxes, you’re onto a winner!