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Stroller manufacturers held to higher standard for safety checks

Parents of young children often go to great lengths to prevent their children from being exposed to harmful products. For example, they might ensure that small choking hazards or toxic materials are well out of reach. Although these may be clear safety hazards for infants and toddlers, trends in recent years show what might be a more concerning — and perhaps less obvious — dangerous product.

Accident data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed a disturbing trend of stroller-related accidents among children between 2008 and 2012. In response, the CPSC has rolled out new safety requirements for manufacturers.

The new safety requirements primarily focus on the process stroller manufacturers use to test components of their products. In the past, the following stroller parts have been identified as safety hazards and will now undergo more stringent safety tests:

  • Buckles
  • Cords and straps
  • Seats
  • Hinges

Most of the tests are to check the overall stability of strollers. Without adequate reinforcement in the seats or hinges, for example, there was a risk of child injuries if their strollers suddenly collapsed.

In more serious cases, inadequately tested stroller components were causing strangulation or limb amputation. In children were caught in straps or had a finger pinched in a hinge that collapsed too easily, they could suffer permanent injuries.

Before products become publicly available to consumers, manufacturers have a duty to make sure they are inspected to prevent unnecessary injury. After all, parents should be able to expect that the products they purchase are actually safe for intended uses.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Stricter Safety Tests Required for Strollers," Jon Chown, March 13, 2014

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