The Dangerous Shopping Cart

baby in shopping cart

When you go shopping do you put your baby in a shopping cart? Now the AAP along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is saying that if you have a reasonable alternative–use it. Some 24,000 children are rushed to the emergency room each year as a result of shopping cart injuries. Children stand or are strapped in improperly and fall onto the hard grocery store floor resulting in head and neck injuries, fractures, and even concussions. The AAP also points out that most shopping carts are designed with a high center of gravity which makes them prone to tipping over even when a child is strapped in properly.

Since there is no legislation regulating the manufacturing of shopping carts, the best these agencies say they can do is warn parents. Among safer alternatives are grocery carts that have the car in front (closer to the ground), strollers, and wagons.

I have to admit that I read this article and rolled my eyes a bit. Now before some of you more safety conscious parents flog me, hear me out.

The red cross says that 95% of all accidents are preventable. Even the articles points out that most of the injuries are a result of parents not strapping their children in safely before they began shopping. So I’m not sure that the problem is that of the shopping cart as much as it is that of the parents.

Danger lurks everywhere, to be honest. Common sense helps prevent injuries from happening. While it may be true that we can come up with a better shopping cart, the fact remains that most injuries happen while a child isn’t strapped in.

Some Common Sense Tips for Avoiding Injury to Your Baby/Toddler While Grocery Shopping:

1. Use the stroller if you don’t have a lot of purchase. It’s generally easier and at least the germs on it belong to just your family!

2. Strap your children in. If they hate it strap them in anyways. You can distract your baby or toddler by moving quickly, and talking about what you’re shopping for.

3. Don’t stand in one place too long. Don’t take forever to decide on which salad dressing to get. If you have to take forever to make a decision, talk to your baby while doing it. Try to be entertaining while deciding upon Ranch or Bleu Cheese. If you’re baby is entertained, he is less likely to go looking for entertainment by standing up.

4. Go with a list. Make the trip as short as possible.

5. Use a carrier. If you’re able, carry your baby in a sling or other type of carrier so that you can shop and know your baby is safe.

6. NEVER take your hands and eyes off the baby at the same time! If you have to turn to look at grocery items on the shelf, keep your hand on your baby’s shoulder, or belly just to be sure that he is not trying to escape.

Shopping carts can be dangerous for your baby. Use common sense and be extra watchful and you should manage to get through the grocery aisle without any major incidents.

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