There are definitely some things you should put in your shopping cart in the name of your child’s health and well-being. Your precariously placed child should not be one of them—especially given that more than 20,000 children a year are treated in US emergency departments for reported shopping cart–related injuries!
A majority involve either shopping carts tipping over or sudden falls that occurred within the presence of a watchful adult. To play it safer, consider alternatives to toting your kids around in shopping carts, such as the use of a stroller, wagon, baby carrier, or sling; getting your child to walk the aisles; leaving them at home (with appropriate supervision, of course); or even shopping online.
If you do choose to cart your child, look for the kid-friendly carts that are low to the ground and often conveniently fashioned after fire trucks or race cars. Also buy in to the following rules, which bear a striking and necessary resemblance to those used on just about every amusement park ride we’ve ever been on.
- Buckle Up. All children should be securely buckled up before the ride begins.
- Remain Seated. Children should remain seated at all times.
- In It for the Ride. No one is to ride on the outside of the cart or the ride will come to an immediate halt.
- Keep Contained. All hands and feet are to be kept inside the cart at all times.
- Drive Responsibly. Only responsible adults should be in charge of operating the ride.