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The key safety features of any Australian pram (and some pram safety myths busted)

Sure style trends, luxury materials, multiple configuration types and of course 'the fold'' are key selling features on any pram. However, one thing that trumps all of this is safety, which should be the number one consideration when purchasing a pram. At Babybee, we integrate safety with style - so you get the very best of both worlds.

But with so many pram brands on the market highlighting different safety features it can be difficult to navigate what is essential to your child's safety and what is marketing jargon.

To help you navigate the differences, we got the lowdown from Babybee's Quality Control Manager to discuss the four key safety features of any pram, as well as the four biggest myths about pram safety.

What are the key four safety features of any pram sold in Australia?

First and foremost, there are 4 key safety features of any pram sold in Australia in order to be compliant with the latest safety standard AS/NZS 2088:2013. These features are:

5-Point Safety Harness

babybee 5 point safety harness duo2 tandem pram

Ensure there is a 5-point safety harness in any pram or stroller you are considering purchasing. These have been designed to keep your child safely inside the stroller seat while preventing loops in the harness, reducing the risk of strangulation.

Please note that pram bassinets in Australia are not required to have a harness installed as they can become a strangulation or entrapment hazard if your little one wriggles around too much. So don’t worry, bassinets are just as safe without it!

Foot Brake

To comply with AS/NZS 2088:2013 standards, there must be a foot brake clearly marked in red, as well as linked brakes, ensuring the pram securely remains in place. The foot brake is there for one very important reason; to keep your pram from rolling into danger.

Foot brakes tend to be easy to engage (especially when you’ve got your hands full!) but all Australian prams by law need to include a red coloured break for maximum visibility.

Tether Strap

Another key safety feature to look out for is a tether strap (sometimes called a wrist strap) on the pram handlebar that fits around your wrist. This allows you to secure the pram to yourself and prevent it from rolling away. Trust us when we say that it only takes a big gust of wind to get your pram rolling away from you, so a foot brake and tether strap are essential to ensuring your pram doesn’t roll into any danger.

Head Barrier

Finally, prams and strollers that recline more than 150 degrees must have a permanent head barrier attached to the top of the seat. This is often referred to as a canopy, and also provide shade and additional headroom for your toddler.

Now, let's debunk some pram safety myths

The pram market is filled with scare-tactics to coerce you into spending more money than you need to on additional accessories/features that pledge to increase safety, but in reality offer zero additional safety assurances.  

Our Quality Control Manager has seen and heard it all and says the top four safety myths in the pram industry are:

MYTH: You can use your pram bassinet for overnight sleeping

This is a contentious issue in the pram industry as there are several companies that tell parents their pram bassinet is suited for overnight sleeping. Simply put, there are NO pram bassinets in Australia that are safe for overnight sleeping as there are no regulations, design or safety standards in place with no predetermined guidelines for safe sleeping features.

As the bassinet is considered part of the pram itself, pram bassinets fall under the Australian and New Zealand standard ‘Prams and strollers—safety requirements’ AS/NZS 2088:2000. Compliance of this standard requires a warning label on all prams stating “DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN UNATTENDED”.

Similarly Red Nose states, “Never leave your baby unattended in a pram or stroller. It is not a substitute for a cot.” It is for this reason that we encourage regular monitoring of your baby even when napping in a bassinet for brief periods of time.

MYTH: Heavier pram frames equal safer prams

When the Babybee team were busy designing the very first ROVER pram, we surveyed thousands of customers to find out what parents loved and disliked about their pram. Of the thousands surveyed, parents unanimously voted that their number one pet peeve of prams was overly heavy, hard-to-manoeuvre prams.

These are often sold by high-end pram brands with messages around pram safety, when in reality having a heavier pram frame means you risk injury getting your pram in and out of the car, and makes your pram easier to gain momentum and roll if you forget to engage your foot brake.

Therefore, we recommend choosing prams that are made of ultra lightweight and incredibly durable aluminium, which will not only last for years to come but will reduce the risk of of injury when taking your pram in and out of a car.

MYTH: You can’t hang any bag on your handlebar

Let’s get one thing clear: hanging your handbag from your pram handlebar is one of the biggest no-nos of pram safety. This is because it causes a tipping hazard and seriously endangers your child.

However, the statement that you can’t hang anything from your handlebar is a myth. When designing our prams, the Babybee Product Team tested the maximum weight bearing capacity of our pram handlebars, which is 1kg. We then designed a custom handlebar bag to keep your essentials (phone, wallet, keys) closeby. Both our Babybee DUO2 and ROVER3 prams come with a complimentary handlebar bag for you to safely use with confidence!

MYTH: You must use a bassinet for babies under 6 months of age

When it comes to newborn safety and your pram, the best way to position your baby is flat on their back, on a relatively firm surface. This flat, firm surface offers the best position for spine development as well as reducing the risk of SUID (Sudden Unexpected Infant Death – formerly called SIDS). It also ensures that their airways remain clear. That is why parents love, and tend to opt for bassinets when their baby is under 6 months of age.

While we strongly recommend the use of bassinets, there are alternative options on the market that offer a just as safe mode of transport for your newborn. The Babybee LUNA double stroller, for example, is designed with a newborn cocoon insert, which positions your newborn completely flat and can be placed inside the stroller seat for greater ease of use.

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