Health Canada

Health Canada

October 20, 2010 15:01 ET

Advisory: Leaving Children Unattended in Strollers and Failing to Use Restraint Systems Pose a Risk of Injury or Death

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2010) -

The issue:

Children left unattended in strollers are at risk of entrapment, asphyxiation, or falls. Deaths and injuries have occurred in strollers and other juvenile products when children were left sleeping unattended or when stroller restraint systems were not used.

On October 20th, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (US CPSC) announced a recall of several models of strollers due to four deaths by entrapment between 2003 and 2005. The affected strollers were manufactured prior to July 2007. Health Canada has received one report (in 2006) of a Canadian fatality in a stroller due to entrapment. In the Canadian incident, the child was not restrained and was sleeping unattended in the stroller. This incident was not attributed to product failure. As a result, no corrective action (i.e. a recall) has been requested by Health Canada. 

Who is affected:

It is timely to remind parents and caregivers of how to help ensure their children's safety when using strollers. 

What consumers should do

  • Do not leave children unattended in strollers.
  • Always use the stroller's restraint system.
  • Infants and young children should never be placed to sleep in products that are not specifically designed to accommodate an unattended sleeping infant, such as carriages, strollers, car seats, infant swings and bouncers.
  • If your child falls asleep in a stroller, leave the restraint system on and do not leave them unattended; or,
  • Transfer a sleeping child from a stroller to a crib.

What Health Canada is doing:

In Canada, the safety requirements for strollers are established in the Carriages and Strollers Regulations of the Hazardous Products Act. These regulations specify numerous legally binding safety requirements and strollers may only be sold, advertised or imported in Canada if they meet these requirements. For example, strollers must be equipped with a restraint system that includes, at minimum, a lap belt and crotch strap. This system not only prevents falls from the stroller, but also prevents entrapment by preventing the child from slipping down and becoming caught between the stroller's seat and tray. When the restraint system is not used, the risk of a child slipping or climbing out of the stroller is significantly increased.

The majority of strollers currently distributed in Canada also conform to the current ASTM Standard (ASTM F883). This standard specifies that the space between the seat and the stroller's tray be large enough to help reduce the risk of entrapment if the restraint system is not used. Health Canada is considering amendments to the Carriages and Strollers Regulations that would make this particular enhanced safety requirement mandatory for all strollers distributed in Canada. Any changes to the regulations would be facilitated through the standard regulatory process which includes public consultation.

Health Canada's public education bulletins emphasize the hazards of leaving children to sleep unattended in strollers.

Background:

It is not safe to leave a child unattended in a stroller, especially if the child is sleeping. Failing to use the restraint system further increases the risk of injury.

Stroller restraint systems are designed to retain children in the seats of strollers and must meet performance requirements established in the Carriages and Strollers Regulations. Failure to use the restraint system exposes a child to risks of falls and possible entrapment leading to death.

The strollers being recalled in the United States today are no longer being manufactured. However, they may still be in use. Parents and caregivers may wish to contact the manufacturer for further information ( http://www.gracobaby.com/CustomerService/Pages/qtmlfaq.aspx ), including information regarding the retrofit kit that is being made available.

It is important that all products are used safely and that the manufacturer's instructions are followed. Health Canada reminds parents and caregivers that children should not be left unattended in strollers, that a stroller's restraint system always be used, and that strollers are not considered to be safe sleeping environments for unattended infants and children. Health Canada will continue to promote safe sleep practices for infants through consumer education and the enforcement of Canada's legally binding regulations for cribs and cradles. The department will also continue to encourage industry to adopt voluntary safety standards that further enhance safety.

Products affected:

Leaving a child unattended in any stroller and failing to use the stroller's restraint system poses a risk of falls or entrapment.

For more information:

Consumers and health professionals wanting more information about this advisory from Health Canada can contact Health Canada's Public Enquiries Line at 613-957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.

Media enquiries related to this Advisory should be directed to Health Canada Media Relations at 613-957-2983.

How to report problems with consumer products:

Health Canada is interested in receiving reports of incidents or injury reports related to consumer products and cosmetics, including those that have been previously recalled (health and safety related complaints). Incidents or injuries may be about the same hazard or may be about a different hazard related to the same product. An incident report form (http://hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/advisories-avis/incident/cpir-ricpc-eng.php ) can be accessed on the Health Canada website.

Related Health Canada Web content:

- Safe Sleeping Practices for Infant  ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/advisories-avis/aw-am/sleep-sommeil-eng.php )

- Is Your Child Safe? ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/child-enfant/index-eng.php )

Send us your feedback: Help improve Health Canada's risk communications by sharing your thoughts on the new format for our Advisories ( http://surveys-sondages.hc-sc.gc.ca/s/adv-temp-mod-avis/langen/ ).

Stay connected with Health Canada and receive the latest advisories and product recalls using these social media tools: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/home-accueil/sm-ms/index-eng.php 

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Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983
    or
    Public Inquiries:
    613-957-2991
    1-866-225-0709