Friday, January 23, 2009

Equipment Warning

Use caution when you are using hand-me-down or new-to-you equipment! We had a catastrophic failure of a 2001 Graco Doorway Jumper over the weekend. Luckily the baby is fine and I was right next to her so that after the nylon strap snapped and the spring part fell on her head, she did not also fall to the ground.

I mention this in the context of jogging strollers because large, expensive, possibly occasional use baby items are always tempting to use second-hand. That's fine, but be very careful to inspect these items before using them with your children. I've always heard that 7 years is the max for a car seat and no accidents, but how do you check the integrity of a stroller on Craig's list?

I don't have any authority to say this is a complete checklist, but do check the following:
1. Hand and/or foot brakes. Hand brake cable is just like a bicycle so parts are easily replaced. (I have an old post on maintenance.)
2. Tires are inflated to recommended pressure. Read the small words on the side of the tire to figure out what PSI is recommended for your tires.
3. Wheel spokes are tight and true. Loose spoke nuts can cause flats. "True" means that when you spin the wheel, you don't see a wobble.
4. Wheels are securely attached to the stroller. Either the nuts are tightened or quick-release is snug and, for the front wheel, lever to turned to "closed".
5. Harness for children is in good working order. All clips work, straps are adjusted to the correct positions, etc.
6. There are no loose parts that could injure a child. Loose screws? Stays from the canopy?
7. Runaway strap is attached to stroller and free from any moving parts.
8. No tears in the canvas seats.
9. No excessive rust.

These are also things that are worth checking periodically on your own stroller. Good luck.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too Cold to Run?

The handbrake on my jogging stroller seems to be frozen until the temp reaches about 35 deg F.
Is this a sign that
a) it is too cold to run?
b) it is too cold to run hills?
c) I should stop being a wimp by using the brake to go slower downhill?

Cast your vote here :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Before I had kids, I never lost a sock. I don't think I even ever lost a ball point pen. 3 kids later, this is what was left over after some routine laundry recently. You know, 6 or 7 loads.