Article at a Glance
Many of us think of the shopping cart as a safe place to put their child while shopping, but serious injuries are actually quite common. According to a recent study, an average of 66 children a day are treated in the emergency room for shopping cart related injuries.
The study published in Clinical Pediatrics looks at whether or not voluntary shopping cart safety standards that were started in 2004 have had any effect. Unfortunately things have not improved. Most notably concussions and closed head injuries have continued to steadily increase. Since 1990 the annual concussion/closed head injury rate has increased by 213%.
Injuries to the head are by far the most common, making up over 78 percent of the recorded injuries. Children were most likely to be hurt by falling from the cart, accounting for 70 percent of the injuries.
The study found that 85 percent of the injuries happened to children under the age of 4. Younger children are top heavy and still developing their motor skills. This makes it very easy for them to lose their balance if not properly secured.
The study suggested some changes to make shopping carts safer, namely designing carts with child seats that are closer to the ground and having stores heavily promote the use of safety restraints. But there are some simple and important steps that parents can take now to make their children safer.
Shopping Cart Safety Tips
For more information:
Despite warnings, about 24,000 kids are hurt annually in shopping cart accidents (washingtonpost.com)
Shopping cart danger: 66 kids hurt a day, study finds (nbcnews.com)
Pediatric Shopping-Cart-Related Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments, 1990-2011 (Clinical Pediatrics)
Shopping Cart Safety (aappublications.org)