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30 Mar 2021

The serious pushchair safety hazards that could put your child at risk

More than 30 of the pushchairs and strollers we've tested in the last year have failed a safety test
Two people pushing children in pushchair

We carry out extensive safety tests on every pushchair we review to make sure it's safe for you to use with your little one.

We test according to the latest British Standard BS EN 1888:2018, with our experts checking everything from choking and entrapment hazards to the stability of the pushchair and handlebar strength.

In the last year we've found 31 pushchairs with safety risks. Nine pushchairs have had serious enough failures to be named Don't Buys.

Read on to find out about the most common safety failures we've uncovered in our lab tests.

Go to our Best Buy pushchair reviews to see the ones that excelled in our tough lab tests.

Potential choking hazards

Stud choking hazard

Small objects that are within reaching distance of your child can be a potential choking hazard.

We've found several pushchairs with small parts that can be pulled off including zips and fastenings.

One double pushchair we tested, costing more than £1000, had a stud fastening for the ventilation window on the hood, which could potentially be pulled off by the child sitting in the seat behind.

Bumper bar choking hazard

On some pushchairs, the covering or filling of the bumper bar can be a choking hazard. We use a special device to 'bite down' on the bumper bar to check whether there is a risk that a child could remove any of the covering or filling through biting.

Poor handlebar durability

Broken handle

A pushchair should be able to withstand years of being pushed over various terrain, around obstacles and up and down kerbs.

To test the strength of the handlebar, we use special equipment that repeatedly lifts and lowers the handlebars up to 10,000 times, designed to replicate several years of use.

Snapped handlebar safety failure

Four pushchairs have failed this test in the last year including a travel system compatible pushchair costing nearly £1000, where the handle snapped off completely.

Risk of pushchair tipping over

Babies in double pushchair

It's vital that a pushchair stays upright and stable, even when it's on sloping ground. But our tests have found that some pushchairs can overturn, putting your child at risk.

We test the stability of each pushchair in all the configurations you might use, for example with the seat reclined to various levels and facing different directions.

Four of the pushchairs we've tested in the last year have failed this safety test.

Risk of seat unit, carrycot or car seat detaching

Person detaching car seat from pushchair

On some pushchairs we've found that the memory buttons, which are used to attach and release the seat unit, carrycot or car seat, can be pressed in with very little force and stay activated.

This means there's a risk that the buttons could be accidentally pressed, and the seat unit, carrycot or car seat could detach from the pushchair frame unexpectedly.

This is the most common safety issue we've seen in the last year, with 20 pushchairs failing this test.

Ineffective braking

Parked pushchair

To check how effective the brakes are, we place the pushchair on a gradually increasing slope to see whether it stays in place with the brakes on, or whether it slides down the slope.

Our tests cover all the configurations that you might use the pushchair in, for example with the seat reclined to various levels and facing different directions.

Eight of the pushchairs we've tested in the last year have failed this safety test.

If you're buying a pushchair or stroller for your child, we'd recommend reading our pushchair reviews to check there are no safety issues with the one you're thinking about buying.

For more advice on how to avoid potential hazards and keep your child safe, read our pushchair safety tips.