Stroller seats

Toddler seats are a quick way to turn your jogger stroller into a two-seater, but are they safe?
 
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  • Updated:28 Apr 2005
 

01 .Introduction

Stroller-seats

We tested

  • Ease of attaching and detaching the seat
  • How securely the seat attached to the stroller
  • Safety harnesses
  • Crotch straps
  • Stability and ease of use of the stroller with the extra seat attached and loaded
  • Finger and limb traps

See our lastest article on double strollers.

Please note: this information was current as of April 2005 but is still a useful guide to today's market.


The current Australian standard for strollers doesn't specifically cover seat attachments, so we based our tests on appropriate clauses within the standard.

How we tested

We purchased three seat attachments to fit three-wheel strollers from our recent stroller test — the CHILDCARE Trio-sport, PHIL & TEDS E3 V2 and STEELCRAFT Swivelrite Deluxe — and assessed them for safety and ease of use. With the extra seat attached, these strollers can accommodate a baby and a toddler, or two toddlers.

Results

All the seats were easy to attach to the stroller and detach again, but otherwise the results were disappointing. We can't fully recommend any of them, but two are worth considering despite some minor problems. These were the CHILDCARE Trio Toddler Seat 013702-002 and the STEELCRAFT Swivelrite Deluxe Toddler Seat 36815. Both had potential finger or limb entrapments, though these are not very likely to pose a hazard.

The third seat, however, poses potential safety hazards to a child in it. This was the PHIL & TEDS E3 Double Kit E3DK11 V2. It has two possible configurations for the extra seat: the sibling configuration (for a toddler and a baby) with the extra seat in front of the reclined normal seat, and the double configuration (for two toddlers) with the extra seat behind the upright normal seat. We found a number of problems with this seat, in addition to potential finger traps:

  • The harness strap adjusters slipped too much under stress, and the buckles could be removed. The manufacturer is addressing this by bar-tacking the buckle straps so the buckles won't slide off so easily and by investigating new strap material with better grip
  • In the double configuration the stroller can tip backwards if the rear seat is occupied when the front seat is empty. The manufacturer warns not to do this, but we are still concerned that this could easily happen in practice
  • In the sibling configuration, the fittings that attach the seat to the stroller broke under stress. The manufacturer says they've not seen this failure in their testing (to British and European standards) but are investigating ways to strengthen the seat fittings
  • Our greatest concern was that in the double configuration, the child in the rear seat is close to the wheels. We are concerned they could access the moving wheels or the brake lever. The manufacturer says they've designed the seat such that this is not possible when the child is properly restrained, but is considering adding wheel guards to the stroller design

This last hazard assessment was backed up by a recent complaint to us from a consumer who owns this model PHIL & TEDS stroller plus toddler seat. Their child in the rear seat, even though properly harnessed, was able to reach the wheels while the stroller was in motion, unfortunately resulting in an unpleasant friction burn on the child's arm. The injury could have been even worse if the child's hand had been caught in the wheel spokes. Until this problem is fixed, we think this seat attachment is potentially dangerous and should not be on sale.

 
 

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02.What to look for + profiles

 

What to look for

We looked at just three toddler seats, but some other strollers also offer a toddler seat accessory. When shopping for a seat attachment for your stroller, here's what to look for. If possible, take your stroller and toddler into the shop and try fitting the seat.

  • The seat should be easy to attach and detach. Give the seat a tug in each direction to make sure it attaches securely to the stroller
  • Check that your toddler fits comfortably in the seat
  • The stroller will be heavier with two children on board, so make sure it's still stable and manoeuvrable
  • The five-point safety harness should be adjustable and fit securely to the seat. It should be easy for you, but not your child, to buckle and unbuckle
  • Make sure there are no sharp edges, detachable parts that could pose a choking hazard and gaps that could trap fingers or limbs
  • Neither child in the stroller should be able to reach any moving parts like wheels or brakes

Product profiles

Prices are recommended retail, advised by manufacturers in June/July 2005.

WORTH CONSIDERING

CHILDCARE Trio Toddler Seat 013702-002 $70

  • Fits CHILDCARE Trio-sport 013700 stroller.
  • Designed for child up to 15 kg, minimum six months old.
  • Some possible finger and limb traps, but low risk.

STEELCRAFT Swivelrite Deluxe Toddler Seat 36815 $100

  • Fits STEELCRAFT Swivelrite Deluxe stroller.
  • Designed for child up to 20 kg, minimum six months old.
  • Some possible finger and limb traps, but low risk.

NOT RECOMMENDED

PHIL & TEDS E3 Double Kit E3DK11 V2 $100

  • Fits PHIL & TEDS E3 V2 stroller.
  • Designed for child minimum six months old. In double configuration (as in picture at right), the extra seat is designed to take a child up to four years old (13 kg maximum) and total combined weight maximum of 35 kg. No maximum weight is stated for the sibling configuration.
  • In double configuration, the stroller can tip backwards if the rear seat is occupied when the front seat is empty.
  • Some possible finger and limb traps, especially in double configuration where the child in the rear seat could access moving wheels.