When the jogging stroller appeared, it was hailed as a great advancement for those with kids and with an appetite for staying fit. Well, maybe that was an overstatement, but the general feeling was close by. However, since this is a stroller that goes faster than its traditional counterparts, the safety requirements are higher. Unfortunately, not every parent is aware of that fact, and, sometimes, accidents happen. If you want to minimize risks to your baby, read on.
Things You Should Never Overlook
Jogging strollers come with some built-in features that are not always used properly. Don’t think that “I’m careful and my reflexes are good” or “It won’t happen to me.” You are just inviting trouble this way. Therefore, always take a minute or two to make sure everything in your power has been done to ensure the safety of your baby.
- Use the harness! If a 3- or 5-point harness is provided, be sure to buckle it properly. You never know how the little critter will squirm around and “escape.” You are jogging, and if he/she gets loose and falls off, a lot of hurting and guilt will come your way. Don’t risk that.
- Lock the wheels when parking. This can be easily forgotten, so practice locking the wheels until it’s second nature. It takes only a few seconds, it costs nothing, and you prevent a host of unintentional movements and incidents.
- Never leave the stroller with the baby in it alone for more than a minute or two! This is especially true if the baby is under 6 months old. You never know what might happen. Still on this note, don’t automatically assume that if the wheels are locked, everything is ok. This is a small human being, with no defense and easily harmed, we are talking about, so you can never be too careful.
- Watch out for the tires. Try to get soft ones, as the solid rubber ones tend to amplify the bouncing effect when going over obstacles (remember you are jogging, so the bounce is even stronger).
- That storage space is there for a reason. Hanging your backpack or purse on the sides of the handles when jogging is not a good idea. Stability will be affected and not in a positive way. Pack your stuff in the dedicated storage space.
- When the jogging session is over, folding the stroller should be done as far away from the kid as possible. They like to stick their nose and fingers into everything, and, when you’re not looking, they will try to hold on to the stroller. This will hurt them, just like carelessly unfolding the stroller will do.
- If the wallet allows you to, use a stroller that has more safety features than the minimum required amount. We can’t stress this enough: when you’re jogging, the risks are much higher for the baby. Better safe than sorry, you know the saying.
- Avoid jogging close to cars at all costs. Run in parks, not on sidewalks. Also, it is better to avoid bike paths as well. A collision with a bike is less likely and will certainly do less damage than a car, but do you want to assume any risks? All in all, choose areas that are closed to traffic.
- Don’t jog before your child’s meals. If he is hungry, the child might not want to sit tight in the stroller, and thus he could hurt himself. On the other hand, if you run after he ate, he will surely be tired and the movement will put him to sleep.
- Do not jog hands-free. It might be tempting to push the stroller a bit further and let it go for a while so that you can run more comfortably, but this is risky. This can put your child and other people around in danger.
In theory, if you follow all the above steps when using a jogging stroller, you will minimize the risks your baby will be exposed to. In practice, you should also watch your step when jogging, because if you trip and fall, the stroller will follow suit. All in all, pay attention to every detail, think ahead, and all will be fine. It might seem extremely difficult, but, with practice, all the safety precautions will become as easy and natural as brushing your teeth.