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Understanding Shopping Cart Injuries: What Parents Should Know with Insights from a Personal Injury Lawyer

Shay + Associates Law Firm personal injury lawyer in Springfield and Decatur, Illinois

When going grocery shopping, most parents strive to keep their kids from eyeing the candy or throwing temper tantrums over not getting something with too much sugar. What you may not have considered or known is that shopping carts may be a danger to your kids.

Unfortunately, shopping cart injuries are alarmingly common. According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, hospitals treat hundreds of children for shopping cart-related injuries every week. Sometimes shopping carts can cause severe injuries to children or even death. Get the information you need about shopping cart injuries and your kids.

Types of Shopping Cart Injuries

Children may encounter many potential dangers while in and around shopping carts. The most common injuries of shopping cart accidents are head injuries. Never ignore these injuries since traumatic brain injury can have lasting effects, and children may get concussions when falling on their head. Arm, hand, leg, and torso injuries are also common.

Most shopping cart injuries happen when kids fall out of the cart or when carts tip over. Children running into a car or becoming trapped in the cart can also cause injury.

Ways to Prevent Injuries

With child safety, prevention is always the best course of action. Try to be proactive about protecting your kids when you go shopping by adhering to the following safety rules:

  • Do your grocery shopping in stores that offer carts with safety belts and straps: Use these every time you put your children in a grocery cart. This may add a couple of extra minutes to your shopping trip, but safety should always come first.

  • Place children in the shopping carts as directed: If the shopping cart has a space for your child’s legs in the front of the cart, don’t let your child sit backwards in it. Make sure that a child’s legs go through the correct leg openings and that they’re secure into the seat before you start shopping.​

  • Stop the cart and refuse to move if children get up or won’t stay correctly seated in the shopping cart: Calmly explain to the child that you won’t continue until they do as they’re instructed. You may offer positive reinforcement to encourage children to behave well while seated in shopping carts. After all, kids can find sitting still difficult for the entire shopping experience.​

  • Never leave your cart with your child in it for even a second: If you use the restroom, stop, remove your kids from the shopping cart, and take them with you. If something is out of reach, find a grocery store employee to help you, but don’t turn your back on your kids. Take another adult shopping with you so one of you can always be watching the kids while the other adult attends to the shopping.​

  • Don’t put car seats in shopping carts: Although removing a sleeping child from a car seat may be frustrating, shopping carts simply cannot safely accommodate car seats. If you must keep your child in a car seat, carry it with you.​

  • If your children repeatedly act up in shopping carts, consider leaving your kids at home while you shop: Alternately, shop online or try a grocery pick-up service. Many grocery stores now offer you the chance to enter your order online, and then they have someone bring the order to your car when you arrive.​

  • Talk to children about the fact that shopping carts can be dangerous: Don’t allow your children to play with carts or push another child in the carts. Never allow them to stand on the back of the cart as you push it. The shopping cart can pinch or injure their arms or legs.​

  • Try to find alternatives to placing your children in shopping carts: Instead of letting older kids ride along in carts, try to interest them to walk beside you. Some grocery stores have child-sized grocery carts, so kids can do a little shopping of their own alongside their parents.

Although people should not blame parents for shopping cart injuries, be proactive about preventing accidents whenever possible.

Things to Do If a Shopping Cart Injures Your Children

If your children fall or sustain any type of injury from a shopping cart, seek medical help immediately. Even if you don’t see any obvious injuries, have your children get a check-up just to be sure that they haven’t sustained any head trauma or other injuries.

After ensuring that your kids are safe, gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident, including photos. Report the incident to the store and call a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Before discussing the accident with anyone else, seek the advice of your attorney on how you should proceed.

Finally, if a shopping cart has injured your kids, call Shay & Associates for a free consultation. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we are here for families whose lives have been affected by injuries and will fight for the best interests of all our clients.

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