When to stop using the stroller? The pediatrician explained to us what the risks of prolonged use of the stroller are after the child’s 3 years of age.

Strollers are widely used for easy carrying of children. They have recently been conceptualized as sedentary devices that restrict movement and reduce the opportunity for healthy physical activity and the possibility of deviating towards obesity.

According to the pediatricians, the children who use the stroller are many, indeed too many. This is because already at 3 years old, children should say goodbye to the stroller, but for parents and nannies, it is a comfortable and uncomfortable means for children, indeed negative for their physiologic. There are children who have always loved him a little and others who would never leave him and if the latter is not encouraged in the correct way by my mom and dad, there is the risk that they will continue to use the stroller for a long time, exceeding the threshold widely. Four-year limit is recommended by pediatricians. Discover the best wooden walker.

According to pediatricians, the right age to start using the stroller is from 4 months of age (only if the backrest reclines completely) and it should be used up to 3 years of age (the age when the baby cannot move completely. alone). Between 3 and 4 years, it can still be used but only occasionally. And then? It would be appropriate to leave it at home. At least 100,000 Italian children aged 4 to 6 still use this 4-wheeled vehicle. According to the data collected, the laziest are children between the ages of four and five, 1 child in 10 is lazy and there are cases of children who use the stroller for up to six years!

The risks of prolonged use of the stroller

This laziness can cause problems because it prevents the autonomy and independence of your child, prevents the normal growth process, and is a miseducating behavior, which negatively affects the psychological maturation of the child. If up to the age of two or three, the child gets tired easily, walks slowly, is uncertain in some movements, but benefits from all the psychomotor skills to be able to give up the stroller.

What to do if the child does not want to walk?

If the child does not want to walk, it is up to mom and dad to intervene. Mom and dad should find small compromises, such as having the child walk until he is in the park and then get on the stroller when you arrive on the road. Never scold the child if he doesn’t want to get back into the stroller.

Canada and the United States for some time, and now also in Italy, have shouted the alarm that obesity before the age of 5 strongly predicts future obesity. Physical activity is important for healthy growth and social and motor development in children. To encourage habits that reduce the risk of obesity in children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Canadian Society for Physiology (CSEP) have published guidelines that include recommendations for limiting pushchair use for children. Children. If the AAP suggests reducing sedentary transport in a car or stroller for children aged 4 to 6, the Canadian CSEP guidelines recommend limiting their prolonged sitting or being kept in the stroller or high chair for more than 1 h to children from 0 to 4 years.

Research has shown that children in a stroller and contained in other cramped seats are a probable risk factor for limited physical activity. On the other hand, it is also hypothesized that, in some cases, the use of the stroller can increase the accessibility to areas intended for physical activity, such as parks. 

Purpose of using the stroller

Six are the main reasons for parents to use strollers:

Transportation. Parents use strollers as a means of transport to make walking easier. In some cases, the stroller is used as an alternative to public transport or the car, for shopping, to go to the park …, without wasting too much time.

Storage. The stroller provides space for the storage of materials that parents lay down when on the move with young children, such as diapers, food, clothing, shopping items, and anything else you may need during the day.

Free time. Strollers offer the opportunity for children and those who care for them to spend time outdoors on pleasant and beneficial walks.

Supervision / confinement. Strollers allow those looking after them to supervise them safely: “… I can do a lot of things with the baby in the stroller.”

Physical activity. Parents say that sometimes they take their children in a stroller for long walks or push it while jogging, so the stroller itself becomes a means of improving one’s health and well-being. The interviewees highlighted how this allows for achieving two goals: the children are outdoors and breathe fresh air, and the parent can engage in physical activity.

To sleep. The stroller is a good place to sleep or take a nap when away from home. Using a stroller as a sleeping place is particularly beneficial for long walks or hikes so that babies are able to maintain their sleep patterns throughout the day.

Relationship between stroller use and physical activity

The use of the stroller, according to the American and Canadian guidelines, should be rightly limited if, on the one hand, its use limits physical activity. It can lead to an increase in the levels of physical activity between the child and family under certain circumstances. When the child sits in a stroller, he lacks the ability to be physically active. He does not get to explore and look at the world at 360 °. The stroller can be a barrier to the child’s physical activity in the sense that if you decide to make the child walk to take him to the pool, for example, walking, instead of carrying in a stroller, can lead him to be more tired and less active. 

This is the first study to examine parents’ perceptions of using the stroller for their children. Understanding the perception of parents on strollers in the context of physical activity is important to intervene in the process of healthy psychophysical development and to formulate guidelines for parents on the appropriate use of the stroller and physical activity for children. Children’s futures are established early in life, and their physical activity is influenced by parental behavior.

Stroller use is complex behavior because it can be conceptualized as promoting both physical activity and sedentary behavior in children. The Canadian CSEP recently published guidelines on sedentary behavior for children aged 0 to 4, recommending that prolonged sitting be limited or moderated, and provided a list of the type of strollers to use. This recommendation is consistent with the physical activity guidelines for children between the ages of 0 and 5, which recommend supports to be used for toddlers, strollers for preschoolers only if needed, and limit the stroller for use while children are awake.