Every year, approximately 23,000 children go to the emergency room with injuries from shopping carts; most of which are caused by falls from the cart or by the cart tipping over. These incidents are caused by broken safety belts, unstable cart design, and often when children attempt to climb out of the cart. Given that carts are typically used over concrete, tile, or linoleum floors that offer no cushioning for when the child falls, injury is inevitable.
Here are some tips for shopping cart safety:
- Choose carts that have functioning straps for your child in the cart seat and put the straps snug across their lap and make sure their legs are in the legs opening.
- Traditional shopping carts are inherently unstable. For toddlers and preschoolers, use a cart that has a child seat low to the ground. Some look like miniature cars in the front of the cart. Older children should not ride in or on a cart.
- Only allow adults to push the cart.
- Do not place infant carriers on top of shopping carts. Carry your infant in a sling or other infant carrier, or use a stroller.
The next time you go grocery shopping and notice that your store doesn’t provide these types of carts, ask to speak to the manager and tell them to provide carts that have child seats low to the ground and to install working safety belts on all carts.