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Recently, consumers were notified on this blog, and at numerous other sources, that the Maclaren company had a recall placed on its folding or "umbrella" strollers. The Maclaren stroller recall came in reaction to complaints of finger-tip amputations of children who caught fingers in the stroller's hinge mechanism.
Consumer Report's Safety Blog instituted a follow up study of some of the other folding strollers on the market which have not yet been the subject of a recall. Most of the nine folding strollers CR informally tested, in addition to the Maclaren product, had the same type of hinge design which posed the same type of threat to small digits. CR illustrated this potential hazard with the ingenious use of a piece of Slim Jim jerky standing in for a finger. The results were not encouraging. In the entire batch tested, only one stroller had a hinge with a design that could prevent a trapped finger.
Consumer Reports followed up with the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) to ask why only Maclaren had been singled out for recall. CPSC states that Maclaren is the only stroller currently under recall because of the number and severity of the injuries reported. However, CPSC is currently investigating other brands of folding strollers for the same hazard.
The Maclaren company responded promptly to the recall and provided hinge covers to all consumers who requested them (in the US at least). Covers are also available at retailers who carry the strollers, and are currently being shipped with the new products.
Consumer Reports suggests makers of other folding strollers follow Maclarens' lead and design a similar protective device to cover the hinges on their products as well. The best safety recommendation, however, is to have children stand away from the stroller when it is being folded or unfolded.
We'll see if this means a stroller recall for anyone besides Maclaren
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