Hidden Shopping Cart Dangers

grocery carts unsafeA CafeMom relayed a scenario she observed in Walmart the other day -- a mom of several kids ages toddler to teen was letting her 15-month old hang from the axil of the front of the cart while she pushed it and the other kids. The child appeared to be dragged, though he may have just been playing.

Either way, it seemed like an unsafe thing to do. The Newcomer's Club post turned into a discussion of whether this constituted child abuse and should be reported. But it made me think of all the infractions and unsafe practices of my own.

Things I've let slide during my trips to the grocery store:

  • A kid hanging off the back of the cart.
  • Two kids in the bucket.
  • Two kids hanging off both sides of the cart for balance.

I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to be doing any of these things, but you know, you gotta do what it takes to get in and out with as few boredom meltdowns as possible.

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually says that shopping carts in general are unsafe and that little kids and babies shouldn't even ride in them until they are properly redesigned!

This is so not realistic for most parents. Unfortunately I cannot hire a babysitter every time I need to go to the store and my kids are way too big for a backpack or carrier. But I get what the peds group is saying.

According to the latest figures available, more than 24,000 children are treated in U.S. ERs for shopping cart-related injuries every year. Most of these injuries occur when the child falls from a shopping cart, the cart tips over, the child becomes entrapped in the cart, or the child falls while riding on the outside of the cart.

Want my quick fix solution? Stores should invest in more of those mini-shopping carts that toddlers and little kids push around. They give kids something to do so they don't have time to realize how bored they are.

Are you guilty of letting your child play, hang or climb on the grocery cart while shopping? Do you think the current carts are in need of a safety redesign? What features would you request?

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