Jogging strollers are very safe for most parents and kids but there are some limitations. For instance most strollers for joggers have weight limitations as well as age restrictions. Other safety features like parking brakes and baby harnessing are features that can only be implemented by the user. If you disregard these restrictions then safety becomes an issue.
Below are some of the majoy safety issues common to jogging strollers. Some are non-issues for most people while others have wor-arounds.
Common Safety Concerns
Are Jogging Strollers Safe For Infants?
Probably the most common safety concern parents have with jogging strollers is the age in which their baby is safe to sit in them. A very common query from new parents is, "when is it safe for a baby to sit in a jogging stroller?"
First of all it is not safe for newborn babies or infants that can not hold their heads steady to use a jogging stroller without the help of a head and body support like the Snuzzler pictured on the right.
Joggers tend to be built bigger than other strollers and without infant head support. Without this support infant's head could bounce around in an unsafe manner.
Due to joggers pushing these strollers faster than they would while walking bumps are magnified and kids bounce around a lot more. Most infants do best in strollers when they can lay flat but with jogging strollers this isn't possible either.
How Safe Are Jogging Strollers For Bigger Kids?
The next biggest question has to do with the safety of these types of strollers in general. Even parents of bigger kids and toddlers are sometimes worried that jogging strollers aren't safe but this is simply not the case.
The fact of the matter is that jogging strollers are very safe if used properly. When disregard for safety features is taken than these strollers are unsafe.
For example every major brand of jogging stroller offers their strollers with a proper five-point harness. These should be used every time for any size child. If your child doesn't fit in the harness then they shouldn't be in the stroller.
Likewise joggers should always use a runaway strap when taking their stroller out for a jog. When their is a toddler in a stroller and you are jogging on a hill it is quite common for the stroller, which can easily get up to 50 lbs or more in weight after adding the weight of the child, to start rolling ahead of the runner.
Safety straps attach to the stroller handlebar on one side and to the joggers wrist on the other. If your jogger ever gets out in front of you the strap or tether will keep it from running away uncontrolled.
Other Stroller Safety Features
Lastly it's important to mention common safety features which exist on almost every jogging stroller.
The parking brake make these strollers safe when you come to a stop. If you don't use them then you are making them less safe.
Some high end jogging strollers even have hand brakes that work much like a bike. If you have these then it's important to maintain the braking system and tires with minor maintenance. If your tire starts going flat then braking power will be diminished.
In all honesty the main thing that makes jogging strollers unsafe is user error or carelessness. Jogging strollers are almost all made from very high grade materials. They are sturdy and have excellent shock absorption designed for the faster speeds with which they are used. That's not to say however that they are all made to the same standard.
The Safest Jogging Strollers
If you want to buy a jogging stroller that is rated as very safe then see my post on the safest jogging strollers on the market. I believe they all are safe if used correctly but some have better safety features than others.