Toddler Left Unbuckled Gets Stuck in Shopping Cart After Mom Turns Her Back for 'One Second'

girl gets caught in shopping cart
NBC 2

Because Virginia Moore thought she was only taking a quick trip to a Harris Teeter grocery store, in Charlotte, North Carolina, she didn't worry about buckling 3-year-old Emerson into her grocery cart seat. But the mom quickly learned a harsh lesson when Emerson got caught under the seat and, after several failed attempts to free her by Moore and grocery store staff, the only way to free the toddler was to use the jaws of life.

  • Moore had taken her daughter to the store on Saturday and said she only turned her back for a moment when disaster struck.

    Moore thought they would be “in and out” so she didn't bother to buckle Emerson into the race car seat on their grocery cart, WCNC reported. 

    “I turned around for like all of a second and she has somehow wedged herself under the race car seat,” the mom recalled. “I think what happened is she dropped her cookie into the basket where her feet are and she bent down to try and get the cookie, and so when she bent down her knee got jammed underneath the green seat.” 

    Unable to free her daughter herself, the mom turned to staff for help. One employee even tried taking the cart apart with some tools, but was unable to get Emerson out.

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  • That is when the mom called firefighters at nearby Charlotte Fire Department Fire Station 9, who came with a special tool to get the cart open.

    Moore recalled that the whole thing was simple once rescue crews arrived with the special tool called the jaws of life. 

    “It was I think maybe two or three clips and then they were able to essentially pull the front of the shopping cart where the wheels are," she said. "They were able to pull that off and then she slid right out."

    Luckily, Emerson was freed without a scratch.

  • Moore said there was another hero in her story -- a woman who distracted her daughter while rescue crews worked to free Emerson.

    The mom said the stranger spent more than 20 minutes distracting her daughter. 

    “Had it not been for her, I think Emerson would have been hysterical,” she acknowledged.

    Moore said she was hoping to thank the stranger for her kindness, but the woman left before she could say thank you. She even took to the Internet hoping that she could track the woman down, but so far no luck.

    “She was so kind and that it was really appreciated and Emerson, she kept her so calm," she said.

    Overall, Moore said that staff also treated her daughter with extreme kindness, and she is sharing her story so that parents don't make the same mistake she did.

    “They do have those seatbelts on the shopping cart for a reason,” she said.

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