500,000 Children In Hospital For Shopping Cart Accidents

December 2, 2015
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Black Friday officially kicked off the holiday shopping madness. Picking out presents and wrapping paper can be stressful enough, but there is a much more dangerous risk while holiday shopping. It is estimated that from 1990 to 2011, 530,494 children under the age of 15 found themselves in the hospital for shopping cart related accidents. That equivalents to 24,113 children a year! While voluntary shopping cart safety standards were introduced in 2004, aiming to reduce the high volume of these injuries, we continually see the shopping cart injury rate climb. So how do improve shopping cart safety and keep our children safe, especially during the holiday season?


Shopping Cart Accidents Resulting in Head Injuries

According to this shopping cart injury guide, the top four causes of these injuries are:

  • Children falling out of the cart
  • Children running into or falling over a cart
  • The cart tipping over
  • Cart entrapment

Head injuries prove to be the most common type of injury when shopping cart accidents occur, which can be especially dangerous for a child’s developing brain. In fact, one report concluded that 79% of head injuries were among children under the age of 5. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death for adolescents and children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk.

Shopping Cart Accidents Resulting in Head Injuries

Via rosenbauminjuryfirm.com

To lower the risk of TBI or any other head injury, how can we take action and improve children’s safety while shopping? Here are nine essential shopping cart safety tips to remember the next time you are out with your child:

Essential Shopping Cart Safety Tips

  1. Whenever possible, find alternatives to placing your child in shopping carts. Some parents use a stroller while shopping and use a basket for items, rather than a cart.
  2. Be sure that you are using the child seat correctly. Always use shopping cart safety straps, and make sure your child is snugly secured in the straps. Children’s legs should always be placed through the leg openings
  3. If parts of the car restraint system are missing or are not working, choose a different cart. If it doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t
  4. Make sure your child remains seated. Never allow your child to stand on the seat or in the basket of a cart
  5. Stay with the carts and your child at all times. Walking off for just a few moments can be risky; children can become agitated very quickly and start squirming in the seat, which could result in an accident.
  6. If you use a cart that has a child safety seat in it, use one that is low to the ground
  7. Avoid placing infant carriers on top of shopping carts. They are generally not stable and have a greater potential to fall out. If you insist on keeping your child in a carrier, it is safer to place the carrier in the main basket of the cart
  8. Never permit a child to push other children in the cart
  9. Avoid allowing your child to stand on the front, side or back of the cart. Arms and legs can become pinched or caught

While preparing for the holidays this year, don’t let a trip to the emergency room be a part of your plan. Many shopping cart accidents and child injuries are preventable if you are following safe shopping cart practices and implement these shopping cart safety tips!

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