The people’s watchdog has released new research showing safety is the top consideration for consumers buying a stroller, with the overwhelming majority of respondents (80%) saying they use the relevant Australian standard as their key measure for safety.
“At the moment, all strollers sold in Australia are required to meet only some clauses of the year 2000 version of the Australian standard, plus a few additional requirements such as having a wrist tether strap,” says Choice spokesperson Ingrid Just.
“However the full standard was revised in 2009 to include some new voluntary safety requirements, in particular a test to ensure that loops caused by harness straps are not a strangulation hazard.
Of the 18 strollers recently tested by Choice only three were recommended based on the requirements of the 2009 voluntary Australian standard.
“From our testing, we think these and other safety requirements are important enough to be mandated,” says Ms Just.
“We know from experience with other children’s products, such as household cots and child restraints for motor vehicles, that mandatory standards can have a hugely positive impact, transforming markets in a short space of time.”
“There is simply no need for consumers to be faced with two sets of stroller standards – an older mandatory one and an improved voluntary one – and that’s why we’re calling on the Federal Government to bring the mandatory standard up to date.”
Choice says features of the voluntary 2009 standard that should be mandated are:
- Clauses relating to the safety of the harness, to ensure it can safely retain a child without posing strangulation or other hazards;
- Clauses that test the security of the locking mechanism for folding and unfolding the stroller; and
- Durability tests to ensure the stroller is robust enough for years of use.
To access the results of the latest stroller test and to access a free downloadable guide for expectant parents go to choice.com.au/strollersafety.