What is the best stroller for your family?
While buying gently-used baby items is generally safe, you’ll want to exercise a bit of caution when purchasing big-ticket items like stroller prams. Before you start browsing for stroller deals, here are a few important considerations to keep in mind.
Health Canada’s Safety Guidelines for Strollers
- Have a safety harness or lap belt that is solidly attached to the seat or frame
- Have working brakes
- Have locking mechanisms (for folding models)
- Have securely-attached wheels
- Be accompanied by documentation that identifies the seat’s model number, manufacturer or importer, and the date of manufacture
Strollers made before 1985 are not permitted to be sold in Canada, as they may not meet current safety regulations.
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Used Stroller Checklist
In addition to the above requirements, you should also check for the following when buying any used stroller.
Check with Health Canada to see if the stroller has been recalled in the past few years. You’ll also want to look at what the specific issue was and whether it was resolved or not. In some cases, a stroller that has been recalled can be fixed with a repair kit from the manufacturer.
Look for a stroller with a three-point seatbelt. This type of seatbelt is the most comfortable and safe, with a buckle that’s easy to unfasten. For jogging buggies, choose a model with a five-point harness. The extra shoulder straps on the five-point restraint will keep your baby more secure as you run.
Test the stroller’s handling. You should be able to steer it in a straight line and swivel it with one hand. Look for a stroller with front and rear wheels that turn; wheels that move only in one position are generally more awkward to handle. Test the maneuverability of a lightweight stroller by adding weight, such as a heavy shopping bag, to the back of the stroller.
The stroller’s handle should be at waist-level or slightly lower. Consider a stroller with adjustable handlebars to ensure a comfortable handle height. Some models have reversible handles that can be placed over the top of the stroller and locked into position, allowing you to easily change the direction in which your baby is facing.
Stroller Travel System
Stroller travel systems are ideal for first-time parents, as they combine a lightweight stroller, a car seat, and a car seat base into one convenient on-the-go solution. A stroller travel system is more expensive than a regular stroller, but the additional cost is more than made up for with convenience and flexibility. As your baby outgrows the car seat, the system can be used as a stroller pram.
Used stroller deals can be tempting, especially since so many of them appear barely used and cost less than half the price of a brand new buggy. If you’re not careful, however, you could end up with a stroller that is faulty or, even worse, hazardous. Keeping the above checklist handy as you shop for second-hand baby gear will help you find the best, and safest, stroller for your family’s needs.