Nearly 24,000 children were treated for shopping cart-related injuries last year, according to a new pediatrics study. That’s essentially 66 children per day. Wow.
The most common cause: falling from the shopping cart which accounted for about 70% of the injuries. It’s not just the number of injuries that’s concerning, it’s the type. About 78% were head injuries ranging from a bump (minor) to a concussion (serious).
Part of the reason is the shopping cart itself. It was designed to hold groceries and not kids. There have been attempts to make them safer with the addition of straps or seats low to the ground but often you can’t find one when you need it or they are broken.
Leaving your kids at home isn’t an option, so here are five tips to prevent a trip to the ER.
- If possible, avoid the shopping cart. If your little one can walk, have him walk the store with you.
- The straps are there for a reason. Use them and make sure they’re secure.
- If you have a choice, lower to the ground is better. Sometimes the supermarket offers a cart that has a child seat low to the ground. That’s the better option.
- Make sure your child remains seated and don’t leave the cart. The moment you leave, you’re quiet child suddenly becomes restless and before you know it, has fallen out of the cart.
- Do NOT put an infant car set on top of the shopping cart. If your baby can’t sit upright, he shouldn’t be in the cart. Use a different type of carrier like a stroller or backpack.
It’s worth taking a few extra steps and preventing an unnecessary trip to the ER.
Ari Brown, MD