Know The Dangers of Shopping Carts

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A study from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio says that 24,000 kids are injured by shopping carts annually.

This means an estimated 530,494 kids from 1990 to 2011: 66 kids a day entering the emergency room because of an injury caused by one of America’s most universal shopping items.

In 2004, ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) enacted new shopping cart safety standards but the standards focused on labeling and restraints: printed warnings and safety belts

These standards are also voluntary, so many people don’t have access to the labels or the belts.

Gary Smith, MD, Dr.PH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and study co-author, says , “Not only have the overall number of child injuries associated with shopping carts not decreased since implementation of the safety standards, but the number of concussions and closed head injuries is actually increasing.”

The findings from our study show that the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety” are not enough and need improvement, he added.

The proposed design changes include “improving […] restraint systems” and “placing the child seating area nearer to the floor.” This would reduce the risk of cart tip-over by lowering the center of gravity, dropping the number of fall injuries.

Kids younger than 5 years old accounted for 79% of head injuries, and 92% of those were among children younger than a year. Many parents also put their babies’ carriers on top of the cart, which is a very dangerous practice.

There are a number of recommendations from Consumer Reports to make sure your child is safe.

  • First, if possible you can leave your child home with someone.
  • See if someone can come with you to push a stroller
  • Babywear – stroller, carrier etc.
  • Shop at places with an enclosed play area
  • Pay attention to how much your child is growing — once they can stand, make sure they are belted in securely, and try to keep them away from temptations in the store.

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