Stroller Safety and a Cautionary Tale

There’s nothing in the world quite as wonderful for moving around a couple of kids like a double stroller.  It’s delightfully convenient¸ and it can be exceptionally safe if used properly.  Stroller safety is critical, though, for making sure that the stroller is a place of protection rather than a hazard.  When most people think of stroller safety, the only thing that they consider is making sure that the kids are belted in.  There’s more to stroller safety than just keeping the kids strapped down so that they don’t fall out.

A family from my hometown of Zephyrhills, Florida are learning this first hand.

A pastor from my tiny town adopted special needs children.  Two of those adopted special needs children were in the stroller walking along the Erie Canal with their dad.  He took his hand off of the stroller for just an instant to check the time on his cell phone.  His children rolled away and into the Erie Canal.  They were belted in the stroller, just like stroller safety guidelines recommend, but he didn’t put on the brake.

The children plunged into the canal.  Their father jumped in after them.  He managed to get one of the children above water, but could not get them both.  Good Samaritans jumped in and helped him pull both children out.  Unfortunately, one child is on life support.  She is not expected to ever recover.

I won’t cast blame on the pastor.  There’s no point.  It’s done, accidents happen, and all that he and his family can do is attempt to cope with the consequences.

What I will do is point to this incident as a cautionary tale.  This is why it’s crucial for parents to always use the brake any time the hands come off of the stroller.  If you are using a stroller with a wrist strap (like my Phil & Teds Explorer stroller), keep in on at all times as a secondary means of keeping your children safe.

Always remember the stroller safety guidelines of seat belts and brakes.  Be sure that your stroller is in good condition.  Has it been subject to any recalls?  If so, have the recall instructions and repair kit been followed?  Do the belts fasten properly?  Are they fitted to your children?  Are the brakes in good working order?  Are the tires inflated or in good condition?

Keeping your stroller in good condition and working order, plus using the safety features that your stroller comes with, is paramount.  Your children’s survival may very well depend on it.

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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