Before we get into safety, lets talk about what a Jogging stroller is. The features we talk about will help you understand why a jogging stroller is not safe for infants.
What is a jogging strollers?
Jogging strollers are a class of strollers that are designed for exercise like running and jogging.
Many joggers are made to handle marathon level speed and work well on a variety of terrains.
They are designed with safety in mind for both the runner and their little companion(s). They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
There are many features that differentiates a jogging stroller from regular/standard strollers. I will discus them below.
Wheels & tires
Jogging strollers generally have three wheels; one in front and two on the rear. The front wheel of many jogging strollers swivel and lock.
In the locked mode, the stroller has more stability during a high speed run. Parents who buy a stroller purposely for jogging usually go with the fixed front wheel types like Thule or Bob Ironman that are more stable.
These fixed front wheels also enable these strollers to run straight, a quality that is important for avid runners.
It is hard to maneuver around corners with fixed wheels but anyone who is serious about sport will not have a problem with this as in most cases, a slight downward push on the handlebar will do the trick.
The tires of jogging strollers are typically big bicycle type tires which range in diameter from 12″ to 16″.
They are typically Air filled but there many innovations in wheels nowadays. These big wheels rolls effortlessly making the strollers very suitable for runners.
Many people have problems with air filled tired because they leak air and get flat but there is a simple fix to this problem; bicycle tire sealants. These sealants prevent the tire from deflating even after multiple punctures.
Seeing how jogging strollers are used for exercise and for extended periods of time, a good jogging stroller should be comfortable for both the driver and the baby.
There are many features that make a stroller comfortable; padded seats, multi-position reclining seats, adjustable handlebars and good suspension system.
Padded seats provide cushioning that help take away some of the shock generated during exercise and a good suspension system helps make the ride smoother.
A padded head area serves a safety purpose by protecting the head and neck of your child during runs.
Multi-position reclining seats are great as you can adjust them to a position that is comfy for your child.
Remember though that when jogging or running, your stroller seat should always be upright as this is the safest position for your child then.
Reclining seats that go all the way to horizontal or near horizontal are great for outdoor naps and the occasional diaper.
Adjustable handle bars are an important comfort feature because it guarantees comfort for parents of a wide range of heights.
If you are going to enjoy running or jogging with a stroller, you need to be able to assume proper body posture which is only possible when your stroller’s handlebar is of the right height.
Avid runners, run on a variety of terrains and go through a lot of bumps on the way.
Without a good suspension system, the ride will be very unsafe and uncomfortable for your little one because most if not all of the shock generated during the run will be transferred to their little bodies.
Safety should be the most important consideration when determining the quality of a jogging stroller. Safety and comfort features are similar because with safety comes comfort.
A safe stroller for marathon type running is one with fixed front wheels. A safe stroller for your baby should have a five point safety harness, head and neck protection, some type of brake whether hand or foot activated should be present. A hand brake is preferable when you are going downhill.
A tether that attaches to your hand or waist or any suitable part of you is advisable so you don’t loose your stroller at anytime during your run.
Reflective logos are very helpful when you are running in conditions of low visibility. A sturdy frame that won’t collapse on you is nice.
Convenience and ease of use
If you are going to be using a stroller for an extended period of time as most avid runners do, it is important for it to be easy to use.
Wheels that roll effortlessly, easy folding for transport or storage, easy cleaning are all features that make a stroller convenient.
A large storage is also very convenient since on those long runs, you will need to take along supplies like water, food, a diaper bag and more.
A canopy with an extendable visor is important for those very sunny days and accessories like sun shields, weather/ rain shields and mosquito shields are very important too.
A stroller that is not too heavy is great for extended exercise.
Making a choice
It is advisable to visit with your child’s pediatrician before taking then for a run. Jogging strollers are not safe for infants as they are not old enough to hold their heads unsupported.
The stress of running will be too much for their little bodies and they can easily get “shaken baby syndrome” which can lead to death.
It is safer to wait until your baby is about 6 months or is able to hold their head up unsupported before taking them for a jog.
For many parents, picking the right jogging right jogging stroller is a nightmare. Moms have to go through so many reviews before making up their minds.
It is hard to find a stroller that has all the qualities listed above so when picking a stroller, think of the places you will be taking the stroller to.
For example, if you will be using your stroller mostly on paved roads and gravel roads, you can do fine with one that doesn’t have a suspension system.
However, if you will take your stroller off roads, then one with a good suspension system is required because off road terrains are pretty rough.
If you are not an avid runner then you can buy one of those jogging strollers with swivel front wheels.
However, if you want to use your jogging stroller solely for jogging, then try a fixed front wheel design.
Jogging strollers are not safe for infants as the activity of jogging generates a lot of stress that the little bodies of infants can’t handle well.
Jogging strollers come with many features and no stroller has it all, so the best jogging stroller for you depends on your exercise needs.
Jogging strollers are a great investment as it helps parents stay active and healthy.
That said, there is no need to buy more jogging stroller than you need. Be honest with yourself and choose what works best for you!
If you were an avid runner prior to pregnancy, you might want to invest more in your stroller.
If you only run or jog once in a while, you might not want to invest in a high end stroller model.