The Dangers of Shopping Carts
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that more than 21,000 children under the age of five are treated in emergency rooms every year for injuries related to shopping carts. About 75 percent of those injuries are to the head and neck. (2)
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that falls from the cart and cart tip-overs account for 58 percent and 26 percent of injuries, respectively, and 40 percent of the cart-related injuries to children under 2 years of age were due to carts tipping over. (2)
In 2011, a 3-month-old infant died after his car seat fell out of a shopping cart when the shopping cart rolled over a speed bump in a grocery store parking lot. “In 1994, a 3-year-old boy died after he stood up in the cart and fell over backward and hit his head.” (1)
Safety Standards for Carts
Most moms are familiar with these rules, but one store that did a survey reported that there is only about 14 percent parental compliance in proper use of the restraint straps.(2):
- Always use the seatbelts to restrain your child in the cart seat.
- Stay with your child at all times.
- Don’t allow your child to ride in the cart basket.
- Don’t place a personal infant carrier or car seat in the cart seat or basket.
- Don’t allow your child to ride or climb on the sides or front of the cart.
- Don’t allow a child to push the cart with another child in it. (1)
Some even suggest leaving infants and children at home, which is hardly practical for single parents and it means that families miss out on this potential for time together.
While the practice is discouraged by safety experts, some suggest that putting an infant carrier in the cart basket is a safer alternative to placing it in the cart seat, but that leaves the question of where do you put your groceries if the cart space is taken up with the baby seat?
Progress in Shopping Cart Design
One of the earlier solutions to the infant carrier dilemma, in particular, was to design infant carriers with clips that would fasten onto the cart.