Monday, April 2, 2012

Shopping Carts Are For Groceries

Don't let your child's head be the watermelon!
My on call weekend is over, and I am enjoying an evening at home when I can just worry about my own kids for a while. Not that I mind doing my job, it's just refreshing to be free of the on-call phone for an evening.

It was interesting this weekend that I was grocery shopping with my 9-year-old daughter while I answered a call about a child who fell out of a shopping cart. My daughter was having a lovely time pushing our grocery cart, standing on the sides or front while I pushed, and at times coasting along for a ride while the cart rolled down the aisle. She was a big help to me, "guarding" our cart while I ran back to get the Italian bread crumbs that were strangely located in the cheese and yogurt aisle.

The child who had fallen out of the cart was in the cart basket jumping up and down while her parents unloaded the cart into their car. Luckily, she was fine except for a bump on her head. 

I have had so many "fall out of the cart" calls over the years that it seemed like a good topic for a blog post. And I learned some interesting information when I did a bit of research:

  1. Most shopping cart injuries occur in children under five years of age.
  2. Common types of shopping cart fall injuries are fractures and head injuries.
  3. Most falls from shopping carts involve children riding in, climbing into, or climbing out of the shopping cart basket.
  4. Another important cause of shopping cart injuries are "tip-overs." 
  5. Older siblings are often involved in "tip-overs" when they lean or ride on the cart, throwing it off-balance.
  6. Parents are near the cart when most of the injuries happen, but most parents step away from the cart several times during a shopping trip.

I am sure the parents of the child who fell out of the cart basket now realize it's not a safe place for a child to ride. However, after reviewing all of this research I had to reflect on what I personally could do to make grocery shopping with my 9-year-old safer. For example, I shouldn't allow her to ride on the sides of the cart OR leave her alone!

What advice can I give you? Don't take your child grocery shopping?

At least don't let them ride in the basket or sides of the cart. Make short, quick shopping trips so your child doesn't get too bored. Keep one hand on your young child at all times. Have an organized list that allows you to get in and out of the store efficiently. Shop when it isn't crowded so it's easier to focus on your child.  And don't let them ride in the basket.