Consumer Watch: Nine baby strollers fail safety tests

By Amelia Wade

The BebeCare Rverse XLR. Photo / Supplied
The BebeCare Rverse XLR. Photo / Supplied

Nine popular baby strollers have failed New Zealand's safety standards - including seven that didn't pass a strangulation test.

The result is extremely disappointing, considering the problem would be easily fixed, said the consumer watchdog that conducted the test.

Consumer New Zealand put 10 popular four-wheeled strollers through at least six tests based on the joint Australia and New Zealand standard for prams. The test was conducted by an independent Australian company.

Only one passed - the BebeCare Rverse XLR.

The most common failure was in a strangulation-hazard test that checks that the loop formed by the buckled harness can't strangle children if they slip and get their heads caught in it.

The standard was introduced in 2009 and is voluntary in New Zealand.

The seven which failed this test were the Baby Solutions Layback Umbrella, the Bugaboo Donkey Mono, the Chicco Echo, the Childcare Discovery, the Love n Care Alpha, the Maxi Cosi Mila and the Mother's Choice Magnum.

Consumer magazine editor David Naulls said this risk could be reduced by making sure the harness wasn't buckled when not in use and by not leaving a child alone in the stroller. But he said they couldn't understand why manufacturers haven't fixed the easily corrected problem.

Chicco spokesman Graeme Duncan said the strangulation fault had been brought to the company's attention by an Australian consumer magazine last year.

The company had the Echo stroller re-tested by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It passed.

"Chicco is the largest baby brand in the world so they never take any chances with the safety laws in each market."

Adam O'Brien, chief operations officer at IGC Dorel, which manufactures the Maxi-Cosi Mila and the Mother's Choice Magnum strollers, said the prams were manufactured and tested to comply with the mandatory standards.

Mr O'Brien said the company did not claim compliance to the 2009 version of the standard for these products, which is voluntary.

And a spokesman for CNP Brands, which makes the Childcare Discovery Stroller and the Bebe Care Mira prams, said they would adopt the requirements of the 2013 standard that will be published "in the near future".

Kiwi Families director Rochelle Gribble said ideally everything parents used on their children should be 100 per cent safe.

However, parents needed to realise that this often wasn't the case and so needed to take the initiative themselves.

- NZ Herald

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