February 3, 2010
Strollers are a popular mode of transporting babies and children up to four years of age. Strollers vary from simple aluminum frames with a cloth sling-style seat to more elaborate versions with heavy duty frames, large rotating wheels, accessory baskets, cushioned seating and even room for two or more babies. Much smaller than the fully reclined pram or baby carriage of days gone by, modern strollers offer complete comfort for the child, portability for parents and convertibility according to the child’s age and physical size.
Recent defects in the manufacture and design of strollers include:
- Collapsing of strollers during use due to faulty construction
- Defective hinges that result in pinches, amputations and lacerations on fingers
- Spaces in the stroller’s construction, such as leg holes, that pose a risk of suffocation or strangulation
- Instability of frame that may result in a risk of tipping or falling
- Small parts that pose a choking hazard
- Exposed or sharp edges on metal tubing or other construction components that pose a risk of laceration or amputation
- Safety harness entanglement risk that may potentially cause strangulation
An estimated 14,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries associated with strollers. The vast majority of those children are under age five and most are injured during falls from the strollers. Ninety percent of those seeking emergency treatment for stroller-associated injuries sustained injuries to the head. About two children die every year from stroller-related injuries.
- In January of 2010, approximately 1,500 Cybex strollers were recalled due to a finger amputation or laceration risk associated with faulty hinges on the umbrella-style stroller. At least one child has suffered a fractured finger as a result of this defect.
- Also in January of 2010, 1.5 million Graco strollers were recalled after five children suffered amputated finger tips and two experienced severe lacerations due to pinching hinges.
- In 2002, Century recalled strollers after 681 reports of stroller collapse, including 250 that resulted in injury.