Pram shopping can be an overwhelming experience. There are so many different types on the market and the price tags on each vary from budget to blow-out.
High on your list of priorities when choosing a set of wheels for your precious bundle of joy is safety. Prams sold in Australia need to meet a stringent standard but CHOICE testing has revealed some pose serious safety risks.
"While the CHOICE labs have seen an overall improvement in pram safety, there are still many models on sale which have serious fall and strangulation risks," says Kim Gilmour, one of CHOICE's resident pram experts.
Worryingly, two of the prams tested are among the most expensive, costing $1599 and $2199. This proves you can't put a price on safety.
The Stokke Xplory V6, $1599 did not perform well in the area of safety nor was it easy to use. It was given an overall score of 47%.
"This expensive pram clearly fails voluntary Australian safety standards. The shoulder and waist straps fail to separate at all when the harness buckle is pressed, forming a loop which poses a serious strangulation hazard," says Kim.
When we told Stokke's Australian representatives about the failure, they said it is "something we have never seen occur with our Stokke strollers, not just in Australia, but globally", and that the pram "complies fully to the mandatory stroller standard in Australia".
Next up, the Pouch 2 in 1, $270 comes with an appealing price tag but it could put your baby at risk. Testers from CHOICE gave it an overall score of just 35%.
"While this pram has a lot of useful features, such as the easy conversion from seat to bassinet mode and extra seat padding, there is a head entrapment risk at the head end of the seat," says Kim.
"And if the barrier straps are removed, there's a fall hazard. The harness also poses a strangulation risk, as the shoulder and waist straps didn't separate immediately when the appropriate test force was applied, forming a loop."
The third pram to not meet high safety standards is the Silver Cross Wave SX2073, $2199. This pram scored 35% and poses serious safety failures, including a fall risk, potential strangulation and head entrapment risk. It's also difficult to set up.
"This pram is not simple to put together; there are many components to identify and a huge amount of packaging," says Kim.
"The pram poses a number of fall risks. In our tests, our probe easily went over the head end of the seat, and the waist strap is not permanently fixed to the seat.
"The harness also forms a strangulation risk, as the shoulder and waist straps didn't separate immediately when the appropriate test force was applied, forming a loop."
• Safety • Durability • Kerb mounting • Ease of use
The performance score is based on selected tests to the latest Australian standard (AS/NZS 2008:2013), which we think is better at targeting issues around stability and harness safety than the mandatory standard.