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Shopping Cart Injuries

Steve Wagner

Children under the age of 15 are at significant risk of getting injured while riding in or on shopping carts. When you look closely at the numbers, there are so many children seriously injured each year that one has to go to the emergency room an average of every 22 minutes as the result of a shopping cart injury.

All totaled, there are more than 24,000 children injured each year because of safety issues or misuses of shopping carts. Children ages newborn to 4-years-old actually account for almost 85% of those injuries!

If we think about it logically, shopping carts are not sturdy. How often have you gone to the store and ended up having a cart with a loose wheel, or one that pulls to one side or the other when you push it? These carts are used by potentially hundreds of people each day, and they rarely (if ever) undergo thorough inspections.

Parents all too often sit their children in the carts, without giving it a second thought. It only takes a second to look away for a cart to topple over, for someone else to run into a cart, for a small child to stand up and fall out, or for baby to rock an infant seat off the top of a cart. All of these factors are one of the leading contributors to concussions in young children, not to mention other severe injuries.

Babies are some of the highest at risk for injury on a shopping cart, because the current trend is to set infant car seats on top of the carts while you shop. Not only is this strictly warned against in most car seat manufacturer’s safety instructions, but many shopping carts even have a warning on them, discouraging parents from using them in this way. Many parents think that the “latch” on the infant car seat will hook around the railings on the shopping cart and prevent it from falling over. Not only is this terribly inaccurate, but the heavy infant seats actually make the carts extremely top heavy and they are much more likely to tip over.

Here are a few tips for keeping your children safe inside of a shopping cart:

  • Never set an infant seat on top of the cart. Instead, you can put the infant seat inside the main part of the cart, or look into an ergonomically correct baby carrier, and “wear” your baby while you shop.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a cart. Whatever you have to get, take the cart and the child with you, and always keep a hand on the cart to keep it balanced.
  • Encourage children to sit down in the designated child seat, and always use the safety buckle. If the buckle on a cart is broken, get a new cart.

If your child has suffered an injury in a shopping cart due to the negligence of another person or a store, give the personal injury lawyers of Wagner Reese a call. We can assist you in receiving compensation for the injuries your child has suffered.


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