Are Shopping Carts Dangerous for Kids?

Shopping Cart WarningThe grocery store is the worst.

Lugging the kids there, those terrible shopping carts, and constantly deflecting your kids from putting things in the cart like a hockey goalie is the last thing any parent wants to do. It’s probably not too much of a stretch to think many parents would rather go hit their head against a wall while sitting in line at the DMV than go shopping with kids.

It turns out, maybe it’s not safe for them to go anyway. This TV report from KGW in Portland, Oregon raises a few eyebrows.

The report says, “every year, an average of 21,500 children are injured in the U.S. because of falls from shopping carts, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Now lets be honest, the likelihood of your kids getting hurt at the store is probably dramatically less than say, buying a crap load of groceries you didn’t need, leaving your wallet at the store, or witnessing an epic meltdown by your toddler because you bought the healthy cereal instead of the one loaded with sugar.

That being said, the fact that 21,500 kids are getting hurt by metal shopping carts is concerning enough. Many parents simply have no choice but to go to the store with multiple kids. While it’s their responsibility to make sure their kids are safe and buckled in, that’s not happening.

“Child safety experts say kids should be buckled into the shopping cart seat or basket.  Many parents don’t.  Only 5.6 percent of all shoppers buckled their children into the cart, according to a study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior Management in February 2014.”

There is no doubt I’m guilty of this. In fact, there have been times when my son has buckled himself in!

But here’s the rub, the only shopping carts I’ve seen that carry two kids are the ones shaped like a Easy Coupe (which is like driving a tank through a garden) or at Costco. Otherwise, you’re kinda S.O.L.

On top of that, ever look at the condition of the buckles? Usually the clips are broken, the cloth in knots, or simply not working. What are you to do then? Well, it’s the store’s responsibility to make sure their working but when you want to get in and get out, complaining to a store manager that’s hard to find isn’t exactly on your to-do list.

So what to do? The report suggests:

  • Use seatbelts to restrain your child in the cart seat.
  • Retailers should ensure that all carts have seatbelts and that the seatbelts work as intended.
  • 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.

So lets get the word out, who has the best shopping carts out there? Leave your comment below!



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