Caution! When stroller falls over, baby may fall from it and injure head: sometimes hospitalized!
Strollers on the market have diversified: strollers having a handle that can be removed and installed on the opposite side to change the direction a baby is facing, lightweight and compact strollers, three-wheeled strollers, highly maneuverable strollers and so on.
The Medical Facilities Network1 has received 288 reports2 of baby injuries resulting from falling over in strollers or falling from strollers since FY2014.
NCAC received requests for product tests from users who said, "A stroller fell over when it was parked."
Therefore, NCAC has conducted an online questionnaire survey to know how the products are used and has examined why the products fall over or babies fall from the products. Here, NCAC would like to share the findings and safety precautions when using the products.
- 1 The Medical Facilities Network is a joint project by the Consumer Affairs Agency and NCAC which started operating from Dec. 2010. The network collects accident reports on people receiving treatment at medical facilities after suffering life-threatening or bodily injuries in their daily lives.
- 2 Data registered through the end of October 2019. The number was specially counted for the press release.
Results of consumer questionnaire survey
- About 30% of the respondents answered that their strollers had fallen over or babies had fallen from strollers.
- The most common cause of the incidents raised was "luggage hung from a handle or a hook installed after purchase"
- More than 70% of the respondents answered that they installed hooks to strollers for hanging luggage.
- It was likely that bags hung from the hook contained things often used or things purchased on the go.
- About 90% of those who hung luggage from the handle experienced imbalance and felt risk of falling over.
- More than 90% of the respondents used the storage basket under the seat.
- About 30% of the respondents felt it was not easy to use the basket under the seat.
- Less than 70% of the respondents put seat belts on their children every time.
- More than 80% of the respondents have felt risk of baby falling from a stroller when not putting a seat belt on a baby.
Cases of falling when hanging luggage from handle (received by the Medical Facilities Network)
The Medical Facilities Network received at least 24 cases of infant injuries from stroller falling over or from losing balance when hanging luggage from handle. According to the breakdown of the cases, about 80% of the injured were aged less than 7 months. About 50% of the injured needed hospital stay or hospital visit. More than 90% of the injured got hurt in their head or face.
Stability test in accordance with SG standard
- All the brands tested satisfied the SG standard.
Slope angle to cause falling
- While climbing a slope, a stroller was prone to fall over when luggage was hung from the handle.
Illustration: Slope angle to cause falling over when climbing a slope
(with or without luggage hung from handle)
Effect of using seat belt
- When a stroller fell over, a baby dummy without a seat belt was sometimes thrown from the stroller.
Labeling and representation
- All the brands showed safety precautions and fall risk in instruction manuals (e.g. "If luggage is hung from the handle, the stroller is prone to fall over," "If not wearing a seat belt, a baby may fall from the stroller.").
Storage basket under the seat
- The cubic capacity of the basket varies from 9,000 to 18,000 cubic centimeters. The instruction manual says that the maximum load is up to 5 kg. Some of the brands have a wide opening which makes easy to take in and out luggage.
- It is concerned that it's sometimes hard to see the inside of the basket when standing and that it's difficult to take in and out luggage when carrying a baby and hard to crouch down.
Advice for consumers
- All the brands tested showed safety precautions instructing not to hang luggage from the handle. Remember that strollers are prone to fall over when luggage is hung from the handle.
- Be sure to put a seat belt on a baby every time you put a baby in a stroller.
Requests to businesses
- NCAC requests manufacturers to consider further product development accommodating consumer needs (e.g. new products which allow an option to hang luggage from the handle).
- NCAC requests manufacturers and businesses to further raise consumer awareness of safety precautions so that consumers know that a baby may fall from a stroller when not using a seat belt.