If you are the parent of a young child, you are probably doing a great job of being careful and alert with the most commonly known dangers in your child's daily life. You most likely read magazines and brochures to keep up on the latest information. You probably would not think of taking your child somewhere in the car without buckling him up in the car seat first. You may have bought a helmet to protect her when she rides her bike, and you certainly know to watch your child at all times when around water. However, one common, less thought about danger is the shopping cart. Although shopping carts can make shopping much easier and more convenient for mothers with young children, each year thousands of children are hurt by shopping carts.
Along with cuts and bruises, injuries also include fractures, concussions and more serious internal injuries. Injuries occur when a child either jumps of falls from the shopping cart; the cart overturns; or the child is hit by, falls against, or is pinched in the folding mechanism.
Although we cannot possibly predict every move our child will make and becoming paranoid can be counter-productive, it is important to remember how much our children need our constant supervision. Lack of supervision always increases the risk for a young child. Consider these three simple tips when using a shopping cart with your child:
- Always use a harness or safety belt to secure a child in shopping cart seats.
- Remain close to your cart and within eyesight of your child at all times.
- Do not allow your child to stand up or push a shopping cart.
Recognizing these three safety precautions can reduce the risk that your child will be hurt by a shopping cart. For more information on this and other child safety hazards, visit www.safekids.org.
Submitted by Patti Faughn, family life educator with the University of Illinois Extension.