Need to know
- Our pram tests found serious safety failures in these models from Babyzen, iCandy and Pouch
- The safety failures relate to a risk of falls, strangulation and head entrapment, which means a child's head could become trapped in the pram
- Manufacturers for each brand have responded with their own test results, but CHOICE stands by its findings
A pram may be one of the most expensive items you'll be buying in preparation for the arrival of your newborn, and it's a purchase that can take a lot of research and consideration.
As well as looking at features and design – including how easy a pram is to fold, how big it is, how much it weighs, and even how it looks – you also need to consider how safe it is.
While prams sold in Australia need to meet mandatory safety standards, CHOICE experts test to a newer, voluntary safety standard that goes above and beyond mandatory requirements.
Although we're pleased to see many manufacturers now test to this standard, unfortunately it's not compulsory and our results show that many prams still pose significant 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, head entrapment and strangulation risks," says Kim Gilmour, one of our resident pram experts.
And in case you thought you could avoid safety issues simply by buying a high-end model, think again – we've seen safety failures even in expensive, well-known brands.
There are still many models on sale which have serious fall, head entrapment and strangulation risksKim Gilmour, CHOICE pram expert
"We found that in one case the pram wheels could move even when the parking brake was engaged, and in others, a child's head could become trapped between the head barrier and the end of the seat. Plus, the straps in one pram pose a strangulation risk," says Kim.
CHOICE experts also remind Australians that if you're buying children's products such as prams or cots from online platforms such as eBay or Amazon, you can't always trust that the product will comply with local safety requirements, so be wary if you're shopping from overseas retailers.
The following products were the lowest ranked in our latest testing of prams. CHOICE recommends that you avoid purchasing these, or if you already own them, to stop using them immediately.
The iCandy Peach 7 was the most expensive product in our test, but received the lowest overall score.
- Price: $2599
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 32%
- Passed our key safety tests: No
The most expensive pram in our tests, the iCandy is even pricier than high-end brands like Bugaboo, Joolz and Stokke. But despite its high price, its scores are very low – it received the lowest score overall in our test of 51 prams.
For this kind of money, it's reasonable to expect that a pram would meet or exceed safety standards, but unfortunately the iCandy Peach 7 didn't pass our safety tests or the mandatory standard when we tested it in our labs.
Our expert testers found that the pram's straps pose a potential strangulation risk – the shoulder and waist straps don't automatically separate from each other when the buckle is pressed and are difficult to separate manually.
Despite its high price, its scores are very low
In addition, when the pram is fully reclined it poses a potential head entrapment hazard and fall risk, which means that a young baby could be injured by falling out or getting their head caught in the hood of the stroller.
Both of these issues represent serious safety failures.
iCandy disagrees with our findings, saying: "The iCandy Peach has been tested extensively internally and independently by labs around the world, with no reported issues of test failures or non-compliance."
It also says the seat angle of the pram doesn't recline enough for the head entrapment/fall test to apply, but CHOICE stands by its results.
Read the full iCandy Peach 7 review.
The lightweight Babyzen Yoyo2 may be convenient, but according to our tests, it isn't safe.
- Price: $720
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 35%
- Passed our key safety tests: No
This lightweight stroller is hugely popular with parents – both for travel and for day-to-day use. Weighing in at just 6.5kg, it's one of the lightest strollers we tested.
But our tests found that when the pram is fully reclined it poses a head entrapment risk – so there's a possibility that a young baby could be injured by getting their head caught in the hood of the stroller.
There's a possibility that a young baby could be injured by getting their head caught in the hood of the stroller
We also found that when fully loaded, the wheels moved when the parking brake was engaged, which is another safety issue.
The Babyzen Yoyo2 didn't pass our safety tests or the mandatory standard when we tested it in our labs, so we can't recommend it.
Whenever a pram fails our safety tests, we ask the manufacturer to respond to our test results.
Babyzen disagrees with our findings, providing us with pass reports from third-party labs for both the mandatory and voluntary standards. It says the seat angle of the pram doesn't recline enough for the head entrapment/fall test to apply, but we still stand by our results.
This is what Babyzen had to say about our findings:
"The safety and wellbeing of babies and children using our products remain our foremost concern. Our products meet all mandatory product safety standards and regulations. In addition, we aim to meet or exceed voluntary product safety standards and regulations where applicable. To ensure this standard is upheld, we continue to be committed to the continuous improvement and testing of our products."
To its credit, Babyzen has been cooperative in having the Yoyo2 re-tested following our findings, and is looking into improving the design of the pram to make sure it's safe.
Read the full Babyzen Yoyo2 review.
The Pouch 2 in 1 failed two of our key safety tests.
- Price: $290
- CHOICE Expert Rating: 35%
- Passed key safety tests: No
Like the two models above, this pram poses head entrapment risks but, more concerningly, it also poses a strangulation risk. The shoulder and waist straps don't automatically separate from each other when the buckle is pressed and are difficult to separate manually.
Our experts also found that the right waist strap is noticeably shorter than the left waist strap when fully extended.
As with the other prams in this list, we can't recommend it because it didn't pass our safety tests or the mandatory standard when we tested it in our labs
Read the full Pouch 2 in 1 review.
Other pram safety failures
These three prams are among our lowest scoring, but our testing has identified others that also have serious safety failures, many of them still on the market, and some of them costing well over $1000.
Before you start shopping for a pram for your baby, check our pram and stroller reviews. You can filter the results to check which prams have passed all the key safety tests, and we also tell you how easy they are to use. And, if you're looking at a second-hand stroller, you can search past results for discontinued products by applying our filter.
Expecting twins? Take a look at our double stroller reviews.
There is a mandatory safety standard that pram manufacturers in Australia must adhere to," says CHOICE baby product expert, Rebecca Ciaramidaro. "However, it's outdated. A newer version was written in 2013, but it's only voluntary and manufacturers aren't obliged to adhere to it."
"We believe the 2013 version should be made mandatory, so our test experts go above and beyond, by not only testing against the mandatory requirements but also testing against the voluntary standard and basing our recommendations off of it," she says.
Our expert testers have over 15 years of experience in testing children's products and sit on the Australian Standards committee for prams and strollers, so we keep up to date with changes to the standard. Our lab is also NATA-accredited to test products to both the mandatory and voluntary prams and strollers standards.
To learn more about our testing process, read how we test prams and strollers.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.