Shopping Cart Safety
Shopping cart-related injuries are common and can result in severe injury or even death to a young child so you should consider alternatives to placing children in shopping carts, until carts are redesigned to prevent injury. More than 20,000 children a year are injured in shopping cart accidents which occurred when a child fell from a shopping cart, the cart tipped over, the child became entrapped in the cart, or the child fell while riding on the outside of the cart. The majority of these children are under the age of five.
With the potential instability of some existing shopping cart designs, and because it is difficult for a parent to easily ascertain a cart’s safety simply by looking at it, parents should carefully consider the potential for injury before placing a child in a shopping cart. There are options for the parent who has to shop and needs to do it with their child.
- Go shopping with a friend who can help you with your baby.
- Put children in strollers, wagons, or front packs instead of in shopping carts.
- Ask older children to walk and praise them for behaving and staying nearby.
- Leave children at home with another adult or parent.
- Shop online if local stores offer shopping on the Internet.
If a parent chooses to place a child in a shopping cart, he or she should ensure that the child is properly secured in an effective and age – and size-appropriate belt or harness. Some of these are built into carts, while others can be bought in the baby section of your local store. Parents and caregivers should never:
- Leave a child alone in a shopping cart.
- Allow a child to stand-up in a shopping cart.
- Place an infant carrier on top of the shopping cart.
- Allow a child to ride in the basket.
- Allow a child to ride on the outside of a cart.
- Allow an older child to climb on the cart or push the cart with another child inside.
Some stores my attempt to help parents by providing a supervised in-store child-play area; a pick-up area or assistance in bringing purchases to a vehicle; cart modifications to improve child restraint and cart stability; strollers or wagons for in-store use; education and warnings about cart dangers; and/or customer incentives, such as stickers or other giveaways, to reward safe shopping cart behavior. Stores like Ikea are popular because they have a huge play area equipped with obstacle courses, movies, and games that your child can enjoy while you browse the store, making your shopping trip easier and more fun for you.
If you do put your baby in the shopping cart make sure you do not take your eyes off of it and keep your baby within arms reach incase he does decide to try to get up, or someone runs into the cart causing it to possibly tip over. If you are close by you might be able to keep your baby from being hurt.
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