This report is based on an assessment of 22 different pushchairs available, by 23 disabled adults. It gives advice on different types, ease of use and features to look for. This guide was originally published in 2004 - however contact details and prices were updated in 2010.
About this guide
There's a huge and confusing range of types and models of pushchair on the market, ranging in price from less than £20 to more than £400. So where do you start - and how can this guide help you?
The pushchair that suits you and your child will need to suit your pocket, your home, where you live, how much you use public transport, whether and how much you use a car, whether you plan to have more children and if you are going to enjoy getting out and about your abilities to use this set of wheels.
Ten pushchair suppliers lent us 22 pushchairs that covered the different types and features available. Twenty-three people with disabilities tried out all the pushchairs and assessed their features for ease of use.
This guide starts with brief information on Types of pushchairs, including their basic pros and cons. Then there are lots of pictures and advice from the disabled testers on What to look for and which were their Favourite features. The Buying guide summarises the types and features that might suit your abilities, followed by How to stay safe tips from a safety expert. Finally there are contact details for Helpful organisations and details of Suppliers so you can find out more about the models available.
You can download the original 2004 report in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (907 Kb) here. Please note that it has not been updated, and the Internet pages have more up-to-date contact details.
We are grateful to the Department of Health for funding this guide.
Our thanks go to the 23 people with disabilities who assessed pushchairs for us.
Research: Lindsey Etchell, Jamie Keddie, Ngaio Girdlestone
Design: Sarah Watson
Photography: Robin Beckham, Ginette Chapman
Illustration: Cyrus Deboo
Twenty-three parents and other adults with disabilities each assessed 22 pushchairs for their ease of use. The testers included people with impaired dexterity, walking difficulties, partial sight and no sight. All are members of the Ricability Inclusive Design Panel, which has over 300 members with disabilities.
For the pushchairs trials, we grouped the models to be assessed for different functions. Each model group included samples of different pushchair types for example a buggy, a two-in-one, an all terrain and so on.
To assess pushing, testers strapped in and unstrapped a life-size doll, pushed around a course (with a toddler-size weight on board) through doorways, across flat ground, gravel, around obstacles and up and down a kerb and steps, using the brakes and any swivel wheel locks.
The folding trial involved putting up, folding and carrying different pushchairs. Other trials covered adjusting backrests and handle height, changing seat direction, converting for car seat use and fixing hoods and rain covers.
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