There are a few things that are a must-have in your baby registry, and a stroller is one of them. However, if you are a parent who has an adventurous side, an all-terrain stroller could be your best investment.
What is an All-Terrain Stroller?
A couple of centuries ago, baby transport devices were a luxury that only the aristocrats and the elites of society used to enjoy. Today, it has become an indispensable part of parenting. There are a variety of prams and strollers available in the market today. Choosing the one that caters to your needs and requirements can be a tough task.
An all-terrain stroller can be used on all tracks, and not just city avenues. Whether it is a grassy park or a sandy beach, dirt road, a muddy walking trail or even a gravel-surfaced path, all-terrain strollers are the masters of all tracks.
What’s the Difference Between an All-Terrain Stroller and a Regular Stroller?
Ordinary strollers are meant for smooth surfaces such as sidewalks, mall floors, amusement parks, etc. They have smaller, thinner tires to provide a smooth ride for a child. However, those small and thin tires face adversity the second you take them off of these hard surfaces. The tires will get stuck in the mud or even go flat from a grass sticker puncture; hence, you and your child will not be able to enjoy these activities.
An all-terrain stroller differs from a regular jogging stroller in that it is meant to endure rougher terrains. The tires are thicker, larger and able to easily maneuver through sand, mud, grass with stickers, rocks and other types of off-road terrain.
The all-terrain stroller’s tires are quite literally the biggest differentiator. These strollers generally have three or sometimes four wheels, and tires make all the difference between a smooth ride and a bumpy one. So, while looking for a stroller to accompany you on your different terrains, pay special attention to the tires and their quality.
Fun fact: Did you know that the first-ever record of baby-wearing was a painting by Giotto di Bondone in 1306? He illustrated a baby Jesus carried by Mary in a sling.
Safety Features and Tips
Why is Stroller Safety Important?
Small humans are fragile, and one small mistake could lead to grim consequences. Strollers have been responsible for several unfortunate accidents. For instance, a small thing such as a malfunctioning side hinges lock posed a danger for finger injuries. Graco received at least eleven reports of such injuries, which included finger amputations and lacerations. Therefore, it is not only important to properly read the instruction manual before using a stroller; it is equally important to buy one that comes packed with safety features.
Stroller Related Injuries:
Falling from the stroller was the leading cause of injuries in children, according to a study published in 2016. Around 360,937 children were seriously injured that led to a visit to the emergency rooms. Among these were 43 percent head injuries and 31 percent face injuries. Most of these injuries occur if the stroller topples over, and the child falls. There could be many reasons; a not properly fastened harness, a weak wheel, failed brakes, or placing too many heavy items in the stroller along with the child.
Important Safety Features to Look for in an All-terrain Stroller
All-terrain strollers come with three or four wheels. In the case of a three-wheeled stroller, you must make sure that the front tire can swivel, as well as locked in one place. For example, if you need to use the stroller on a bumpy patch, a front tire locked into a straight position will be of better help.
In addition to the two positions feature, big wheels also make it easier to maneuver through rough and curvy roads with big wheels. However, big wheels can quickly eat up trunk space.
The innovation of using the hand-brakes system in a stroller has upped the game in the market. You can control the brakes now without putting extra pressure on your arm and body while jogging or running through rough terrains. With the stopping power at your fingertips, you have greater control and more safety.
However, the good old foot pedal brakes are equally functioning and essential. Some strollers have parking brakes on two wheels instead of just one, which adds a great deal of safety. You can either activate them with a single stroke or with a double stroke, one for each brake. By the way, you must avoid brakes that can easily unlock with a simple stroke of the foot or that can hurt your feet.
3. Harness System:
Similar to using a car seat belt, the baby harness system is equally important in a stroller. Sometimes parents tend to be a little careless with the straps and buckles. They think that the child is too young to move or jump from the stroller. However, even a low-level fall from the stroller can be dangerous. You must fasten the crotch strap as well as safety belt at all times, regardless of the child’s age. Small negligence on your part or even an unexpected bump on the road can prove to be harmful to your child’s safety.
These harnesses are usually made of nylon webbing and must be very robust. Often a five-point strap will be more useful, but a three-point harness will be good as well, as long as you properly secure it in place. Additionally, you must make sure that the restraint system is easy to use for you, and also, your baby cannot unbuckle it by himself.
4. Canopy Coverage:
Going outside for a walk would mean that you would meet all sorts of weather and road conditions. A decent canopy will save your child from different weather elements such as those bright sunbeams. It’s even better if it is big enough to cover their whole body. That would protect your child from any unexpected rain or dirt and mud from those rough roads you jog.
5. Ease of Maneuverability:
A usual maneuverability standard will not be suitable for an all-terrain stroller. Since these are manufactured and advertised for off-road tracks mostly, consumerreports.org included more tests and routes in their mobility. Ideally, these strollers must be able to perform flexibly on all terrains equally well.
- First of all, you must always check for CPSC approved standards for strollers before making a purchase. You can learn about the new safety standards from their website.
- Generally, a stroller with a broad base is more stable and will not tip over.
- You must never leave your child unattended even for a few minutes.
- If you decide to hang some toys from a string to keep your baby entertained, make sure those are lightweight and attached securely.
- If possible, jog with minimum gear, so that you have less stuff to put in the stroller. Extra luggage can make it difficult for you to drive it as well as chances of tipping over or losing balance increase.
- A newborn is not able to hold his head up on his own and hence are not safe in standard strollers. On rough terrains, they can slump down without you even realizing it. It is best to wait until they can raise their heads and sit properly, as required by most instructions manuals as well.
- If your stroller is equipped with a cup holder, make sure you only use it for water or cold liquids. A spill from hot coffee can cause scalding, which can be very harsh on your baby’s skin.
You May Also Enjoy: How To Choose The Right Travel Stroller – Parent Buying Guideline
In conclusion, the rise in the number of different strollers has given rise to a number of innovative features as well. Some of these features are for parents, such as grocery and cup holders. You must, however, make sure to buy one that offers maximum safety for your child. Reading the instruction manual is equally important. Safety lies in the little things; avoiding certain mistakes can have life-altering implications on both you and your child. Safe strolling!
Compare All Terrain Strollers
In the market for an all terrain stroller? Check out this guide comparing the features of some of the best ones in our opinion.
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