Car Seats and Shopping Carts: An Unhealthy Marriage

Monkey see, monkey do

Sadly, I’m guilty of being a blind follower. I’m talking about perching infant car seats atop shopping carts, a dangerous practice I performed first with my baby girl, and now with my newborn son. And all because I’d witnessed other parents doing so.

car seat safetyBut does that make it okay? Nope!

Infant car seats simply aren’t designed to be mounted on shopping carts … so I recently learned when trying to force baby boy’s car seat on top of a shopping cart. Ironically, I was even annoyed at the “poorly designed” car seat that prevented me from doing so.

It turns out that my son’s car seat was specifically designed to deter ignorant parents like myself from dangerously maneuvering infant car seats while shopping; this I learned after going back to the manual to do some investigating … boy did I feel small! The main concern of course is the risk of your baby being seriously injured in a fall off an unstable shopping cart.

In fact, according to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics):

It is more common than most people think for children to be hurt in shopping carts. These injuries can be severe or even deadly. Each year, approximately 23000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from shopping carts. Most injuries are caused by falls from the cart or by the cart tipping over. Many injuries are to the head and neck (2006).

Gasp! I never realized the dangers of my reckless behavior. Here are some suggestions for a much safer shopping experience with your precious little one:

  • Use a baby carrier or wearing product for hands-free shopping. Baby’s much safer strapped to you than in the shopping cart.
  • If you bring the car seat into the store, place the car seat IN:
    • Its travel system stroller and put groceries in the bottom compartment
    • The main basket of the shopping cart; drag an extra cart around for larger shopping items
  • Do tag-team shopping: Get another adult to take care of baby while you do the shopping, or vice versa.
  • Shop online or remotely if your store offers shopping on the Internet.
    car seat

Have you witnessed or participated in this hazardous shopping practice?

Spread the word: It’s never okay to put baby’s car seat atop the shopping cart.

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