New stroller under fire from Consumer Reports

March 7, 2011 3:28:01 PM PST
A baby stroller is coming under fire from Consumer Reports after a potential strangulation hazard was uncovered.

The stroller is the Zooper Waltz and it is being designated by Consumer Reports as a "don't buy."

The stroller is not cheap, costing more than $200. But on Monday, Consumer Reports says it failed a safety test and the company is responding.

Like many traditional strollers, the Zooper Waltz comes with both a grab bar and a tray that attach above a child's legs.

But Consumer Reports found a safety problem.

"If a child isn't strapped into the stroller, their torso could slip through the gap between the grab bar and the seat. But their head could get hung up. And that could result in strangulation. That same problem would exist if the tray was in place," Don Mays with Consumer Reports said.

The stroller failed Consumer Report's tests of a voluntary safety standard. A "head probe" was used to represent the dimension between the chin and the back of the head of a 13-month-old. When placed in the stroller, the head probe should pass through underneath the bar under its own weight. But it doesn't, meaning it could strangle a child.

If you already own this stroller, Consumer Reports recommends you discard the grab bar and tray and always strap your child in a stroller.

"To be honest, if I, if I heard something like that I would be researching another stroller to trade up," said Laura Walker, mother of two.

Walker uses a Graco stroller for her kids. Like most moms, she did quite a bit of research before settling on the right one.

"Customer reviews, making sure there weren't any recalls or anything like that -- just general common sense, making sure there was not anything obvious that was wrong with it that would be a safety hazard," she said.

The maker of the Zooper Waltz says the stroller meets all voluntary safety standards and it has no reports of injuries. The company also says the consumer product safety commission is currently testing the Zooper Waltz for the problem.

The government hasn't issued a recall on the stroller. This is only a finding by Consumer Reports, so if you have one of the strollers, there is no fix coming from the company, at least not yet.

As we said the Consumer Product Safety Commission is testing the stroller, if they find an issue the company will either come up with a solution or recall the strollers.