We ponder a lot when it comes to choosing the best car seat for our baby. However, when it comes to buying strollers we seldom forget to think about toxic chemicals that are present in the mainstream strollers.
For many parents, a stroller is a must-have travel essential. If you are not using a baby carrier, then it is given that your baby is going to spend most of the time in a stroller when out and about.
Choosing the right non-toxic stroller for your baby can be daunting because there are a very few options in the market.
Brands generally do not disclose the chemicals that are added to the materials used to make a stroller making it harder for parents to make an educated decision.
Fortunately, there seems to be an increasing consumer awareness, and many brands are responding to this need by making quality strollers that are free of unwanted toxic chemicals.
What are the Chemicals in Strollers?
Flame Retardants :
Pre 2014, a stroller should pass a very stringent flammability test(TB 117), which is to survive an open fire for 12 seconds. For this reason, manufacturers coated stroller fabrics and materials with flame retardant materials. While flame retardants may be for the added safety of your children in case of fire exposure, research suggests otherwise.
Recently many babies products including strollers are exempted from this flammability test.
Recent studies highlight that the health hazards of flame retardant chemicals far outweigh their pros, and hence recommendation are being made to ban the use of these chemicals in baby products.
Flame retardants are generally brominated or organophosphate in nature. These chemicals are dangerous, and some substances are even identified to be nuero-toxic.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has conducted extensive research to prove the harmful health effects of flame retardants on humans. NIEHS also points out that these chemicals are especially toxic to children since they have a fragile and developing body system.
Health Hazards of Flame Retardants:
- Endocrine and thyroid disruption
- Reproductive problems
- Risk of Cancer
- Adverse effects on fetal and child development
- Impact on Neurological functions
Polyurethane Foam :
Polyurethane Foam is a petroleum-based product. It is highly flammable and is coated with fire retardant chemicals which have the above-discussed health hazards.
Apart from the flame retardants, Polyurethane foam breaks down over the course of time and gives off toxic fumes that can cause skin irritation, lung irritation, and even cancer.
Foam is present in so many baby products like crib mattress, play mats, diaper change mats, and strollers.
The risk in the presence of polyurethane foam is that it emits Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the surrounding air which is inhaled by the children. While choosing a stroller, one should note that foam present in tires or handles posses lesser risk than in a crib mattress or a play mat.
However, I would be careful while buying a bassinet. Bassinet can be used as a co-sleeper, and hence, you should be careful to choose a bassinet that does not contain polyurethane foam.
Best Non Toxic Strollers:
Umbrella Stroller :
Umbrella strollers are perfect for travel or a quick shopping trip. They are lightweight and easy to maneuver in crowded places.
UPPA Baby G Luxe:
UPPA Baby G Luxe is an excellent option where style meets functionality. It is upper end on the price spectra, but UPPA is known for its exceptional customer service and a long lasting build.
This stroller goes above and beyond what other umbrella strollers has to offer. A huge extendable sun share with a UV of 50+ and a large basket to store your diaper bag or shopping bags is a plus.
The body of the stroller is a robust, lightweight aluminum frame which is built to last without weighing down your shoulder while carried.
A carry on shoulder strap, one step, one hand fold, makes this stroller super portable.
UPPA doesn’t use any flame retardants in making their strollers. This stroller is unbeatably the best non-toxic umbrella stroller in the market.
Full Size Strollers:
UPPA Baby Vista & Cruz:
UPPA tops the list again by offering various full-size strollers under their brand. All of UPPA strollers are made in America. All of their products meet the stringent safety tests like by the Juvenile Product Manufacturing Association (JPMA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
UPPA baby offers two exceptional strollers Vista and Cruz to choose.
My only concern with Vista is that the bassinet is made of Foam.
UPPA Cruz checks every box that you can ask for in a stroller and more. It has a huge sun canopy to keep your babe cool in the sun. Can be easily converted into a travel system for newborns by pairing it with their MESA car seat. Cruz is also compatible with other car seats like Maxi Cosi with an adaptor.
Multi-position recline lets your baby ride comfortably. The toddler seat can be adjusted to face front or towards the back, depending on the development need of the baby.
Baby Jogger City Mini GT:
The City Mini is an award-winning stroller with excellent features. One of the preferable stroller for parents on the go. It is lightweight yet sturdy. The All-terrain wheels let you wander wherever you wish.
City Mini GT also features an adjustable handle that is much appreciated by couples with different stature.
City Mini is compatible with popular car seats like Britax, Chicco or City’s own City Go. The City Go grows with your child – you can use it as a pram, travel system or just a stroller for your toddler.
The only gripe about City Mini is that it does not offer forward facing seat option. If you need a forward facing seat, then check out City’s Premiere stroller.
Britax B- Agile :
Their Agile is Britax’s best selling model and for a good reason. Agile is a lightweight, compact stroller that is sleek and stylish. The sun shade is huge and has a ventilated window that allows air flow to keep your little one cool. Also serves to keep an eye on your infant.
Reflective harness straps are another safety feature that promotes visibility in the dark. B Agile has a one-hand fold mechanism, perfect for folding the stroller with carrying your baby.
Agile also converts to a travel system with a click and go connect car seat.
B Free is also a three-wheel steer with loaded with features like front facing seat and a liftable calf for more storage space with an easy front access. B Free also offers so much extra storage space ( 7 storage pockets) to store all your baby gear.
Bugaboo Fox :
Fox is the ultimate stroller whether you are on the go or for everyday use. Bugaboo strives to make products that are sustainable and have lesser environmental impact.
Bugaboo is also a part of Science Based Targets Initiatives and focusses to minimize waste production. All that said, Bugaboo is a credible brand that you can trust that will go extra mile to ensure your baby is not exposed to harmful chemicals.
Bugaboo Fox is a fully loaded stroller that offers the smoothest ride for your little one. The fabric materials in Fox is made of recycled PET bottles.
Jogging Strollers :
For parents who sought after an active lifestyle, a jogging stroller is a must to steer through the trails. Jogging strollers comes with a added wheels to combat tougher trails.
BOB strollers are under the Britax umbrella. Britax is a trust worthy brand that does not use chemical flame retardants. Bob Flex is a very popular jogging stroller that has earned the trust of many parents. Their suspension system is point that the stroller steers through the rough terrain without any bumps.
Bumble ride offers eco friendly line of strollers both single and double. Bumble ride is the toxic free stroller! Their strollers contain no PVC, no phthalate, no fire retardant chemicals and nil polyurethane foam. Their fabrics are made of recycled PET bottles and are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 class certified.
Let’s Wrap Up:
While there is no 100% toxic free stroller (yet!), there are some fabulous strollers that limit the harmful chemical exposures to your baby significantly. A stroller is one baby equipment that gets used a lot, therefore, it is important to research and buy the right one that works for your lifestyle but is also safe for your baby.